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Dogadov Artyom, 22 months old

Date of birth: 14 November 2012.
Kantyrevo, Krasnoyarsk region.

Diagnosis: laryngeal stenosis, the boy has a tracheostoma. Doctors had to insert a tube into the tracheostoma so that Artyom didn’t suffocate. It was meant to be a temporary measure, but the boy has been living with it for 18 months already. The only doctor ready to risk and do decannulation to let Artyom breathe normally is an Israeli surgeon, whose specialty is difficult cases of laryngeal stenosis. The operation costs €12,479.
29 September 2014

It can often be seen in medical TV dramas that it takes seconds for doctors to save a patient from suffocation by a tracheotomy. The crisis has passed, the patient can breathe, he is virtually alright. But they never show what happens afterwards, how the tube is removed from the trachea. When airway collapse had occurred, Artyom was saved, yes, but he has been living with a tube in his throat for 18 months. Not one of the doctors in the numerous hospitals where the boy had been treated dared remove the tracheostoma. The case is difficult, therefore one of the world’s best experts in stenosis will help the child return to normal life and normal breathing. That is, if the money for the operation is found.

From the mother’s letter:

As Artyom was born with a nuchal cord, he suffered severe perinatal asphyxia. Right from the birthing room Artyom was taken to the emergency department for resuscitation with a medical ventilator, a day later he was helicoptered to a hospital in Krasnoyarsk, and then for three long weeks I could stay with my son just for a few minutes a day, when I came to breastfeed him.

Artyom was on the mend, doctors were preparing the documents for discharge from the hospital when the first choking fit occurred. I came for breastfeeding and saw my child go blue and start gasping, and he refused to eat. He was taken away from me again, again I spent agonizing hours at the door of the emergency department. For three months more Artyom was repeatedly moved to the hospital room then back to the emergency department. He was diagnosed as having grade IV subglottic stenosis. With such a diagnosis there is no choice but to do tracheotomy.

At first it was so scary: I have to treat the tracheostoma on time, to remove phlegm, to do the bandaging by myself. Mothers fear to do something wrong even if their baby is healthy, not to mention a baby with a tube in his throat. One night — I don’t know how he managed to untie the straps — my son pulled out the tube. I thought it was the end and we would lose him. Fortunately, an ambulance team arrived without delay and their work was well coordinated.

The doctor tried to reassure us that by the age of 12 months stenosis would be over, my son would breath without aid and the tube might be removed. It happened almost like that: the disease was over, but the airway didn’t open. Doctors couldn’t tell why, and transferred Artyom from one hospital to another. Through the Internet we got into contact with Israeli Dr. Ari Diro, who is considered the best expert in this disease. The doctor is inviting our son to undergo an operation to open the airway and remove the tracheostoma in November 2014.

The hospital announced the cost of the treatment. We didn’t expect it to be so high — €12,479. The only working person in the family is me, and my salary is nothing compared to this sum. Any help would be welcome — financial, moral, some words of support. I met other families whose 5 to 10-year-old children are growing with tracheostomas. I wouldn’t wish such life on anybody. We are going through difficult times, but we are not losing hope that our son has a happy, healthy future ahead of him. Please, help Artyom undergo the operation!

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