By the time he arrived at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, in October of 2005, Jason Pivowar had been through a lot – including a total of four hospitalizations since undergoing what was supposed to be routine surgery at a Palm Beach area hospital in July.
Following the summer surgery in Palm Beach to correct pectus excavatum (a sunken chest), Jason experienced numerous complications, including an infection surrounding the lining of his heart, kidney stones caused by medications, problems with the corrective bar that had been surgically placed in his chest to raise his inverted sternum, and finally, a collapsed lung.
After the string of hospitalizations, Jason’s mother, Susanne Pivowar, was running out of patience. Jason had already unexpectedly missed nearly two months of school. And now a Boca Raton area hospital wanted to relocate Jason’s chest tube – a painful procedure – for a second time, after failing twice before to position it properly to inflate his struggling lung.
It was then that a medical director of an intensive care unit advised Susanne to take Jason to Nicklaus Children's. “It was a Godsend,” said, Pivowar.
After visiting Dr. Steven Stylianos, Chief of the Nicklaus Children's Hospital Department of Pediatric Surgery, the family received confirmation that Jason had an abnormality of his lung known as “blebs” which can cause the lungs to collapse without warning. Jason underwent a final procedure called a video-assisted excision of the blebs and pleurodesis that would prevent future lung collapses.
Within a week of the surgery, Jason began easing back into the classroom, gradually increasing his school schedule and working intently to make up the missed course work. The remarkable teen managed to catch up in record time, completing the semester with an impressive 4.3 grade point average.
“We are grateful to the team at Nicklaus Children's for helping put this chapter behind us,” said Mrs. Pivowar.