Meet Jayden & Courtney Preston
Imagine having a toddler who suddenly refuses to eat and eventually refuses to drink at all. That is the reality that Courtney Preston and her husband faced daily with their son Jayden, now 5. The family spent the next several months struggling to find an answer why.
After spending many months with doctors and specialists struggling to identify the reasons behind Jayden’s issues with food, in May 2012 Jayden’s speech pathologist and pediatrician both diagnosed Jayden with dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing. Patients with dysphagia can become fearful of food because it takes multiple swallows to even drink liquids.
An Unexpected Solution
This also happened to Jayden when after living on a liquid nutritional supplement for 14 months he suddenly began refusing to drink. Courtney rushed him to the hospital and he left with a nasogastric route (NG) tube which is passed through the nose, down through the nasopharynx and esophagus and into the stomach. However, after about a month Courtney decided to take the NG tube out. She worked with Jayden’s doctors to find a feeding tube better suited to Jayden’s needs.
Three days later, Jayden received the MIC-KEY* low-profile gastrostomy (g) tube to help him receive necessary nutrients. At first, Jayden was frightened by the feeding tube because he didn’t know what it was. But after a few days of healing, the MIC-KEY* tube became part of his regular routine. Jayden is on a blended diet that is inserted into his g-tube. Jayden is proud of his MIC-KEY* tube and loves to show it off. He often tells people, “look at my button!”
Jayden keeps his MIC-KEY* feeding tube clean by showering every other day. His father changes the tube every few months.
Being a “Regular” Kid
Thanks to the MIC-KEY* feeding tube, Jayden is able to enjoy typical toddler activities, such as being outside, coloring and playing with other kids. “I love it because it keeps him going,” says Courtney, “And no one knows it’s there.”
Jayden continues to work with his developmental pediatrician and speech pathologist to address his sensory issues. Recently, Courtney has been trying to make food an enjoyable experience for Jayden by involving him in cooking and preparing meals. Jayden is still using the MIC-KEY* tube, but the family is hopeful that the work Jayden is doing with his doctors and specialists will help him to overcome his dysphagia.