First feedings and potty training successes are developmental milestones that mothers and fathers take quiet delight in recognizing. But for the parents of Linet Travieso, these seemingly routine accomplishments have been cause for major family celebration.Born in August 2006 with an esophagus that was connected to her trachea and without an anus, tiny Linet was transferred to Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, within hours of her birth. In 2007, with five major reconstructive surgeries behind her, Linet was wowing her doctors and family, eating pureed food on her own and making strides with toilet training at only 18 months of age.
Elizabeth Alvarez and Raul Travieso, Linet’s parents, say they owe it all to Dr. Steven Stylianos, Chief of Pediatric Surgery at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, and a nationally recognized pediatric surgical leader.
“Dr. Stylianos was very brilliant with Linet,” said Ms. Alvarez. “Before she was born, I never would have imagined having a child with such medical needs. Now, thanks to Dr. Stylianos, we have the perfect baby girl we dreamed of.”
Linet’s case presented special challenges. The first step was to disconnect the esophagus from the trachea and reconnect the esophagus to itself. A feeding tube was also placed so that the baby could receive nourishment until the upper digestive tract repair was complete. In addition, a second defect in the esophagus was repaired in the
spring of 2007.
A colostomy was performed in 2006 to help Linet function until she had matured to the point where an anal opening could be constructed in the summer of 2007.
Everything came together in the fall of 2007 when the colostomy was closed up and the feeding tube removed. Remarkable for a child who has undergone so many surgeries, Linet is making all her developmental milestones and is a happy and playful child.
“We are so very blessed,” said Ms. Alvarez. “Thank you, Nicklaus Children's.”