Sofia Sorbara, now two-years old, was born prematurely and has experienced many health problems since she entered the world.

At the time of Sofia’s birth, her lungs were so small that she needed to be put on a ventilator to help her breathe. As a result, Sofia developed a chronic lung condition that often affects premature newborn babies who are put on a breathing machine. When Sofia was nearly four months old, her parents, Sarah and Luigi, discovered Sofia also had severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition that caused Sofia to not keep any food down.

Since birth, Sofia had also been on a nasogastric route (NG) tube for nourishment. NG tubes are passed through the nose, down through the nasopharynx and esophagus and into the stomach. Unfortunately, as Sofia continued to grow, her health problems worsened and doctors recommended a gastric feeding tube (g-tube) as a long-term solution for Sofia’s nourishment. The Sorbaras, hopeful that Sofia would not need a permanent feeding tube and additional surgery, were hesitant at first to move forward with the g-tube.

In an effort to avoid the additional surgeries, Sarah and Luigi instead opted to proceed with a nasojejunal feeding (NJ) tube which could be placed by a NICU doctor without surgery. The NJ tube was inserted through the nose, similar to the NG tube, providing access to both the stomach and the small intestines. At the time, Sarah and Luigi believed this less invasive option was best for Sofia. However, the NJ tube did not help to reduce Sofia’s severe GERD and Sarah and Luigi decided there must be a feeding tube better suited to Sofia’s needs.

 

Finding a Solution
Sofia was then transferred to Children’s Hospital in London, Ontario where Sarah and Luigi met Dr. Neil Merritt, who agreed with the former recommendation that Sophia needed a g-tube. Dr. Merritt had recently completed his second MIC-KEY* tube placement at the hospital. Convinced that this could be a better option for their daughter, Sarah and Luigi decided to get Sophia another g-tube, specifically the MIC-KEY* low-profile gastrostomy tube, in November 2009.

Since then, the MIC-KEY* tube has become part of Sofia’s regular routine. Sarah and Luigi love that the tube is discrete, and unless she is swimming at the pool no one even knows it’s there. Sofia is proud of her MIC-KEY* tube and often asks her parents if she can feed herself – which they do happily!

Thanks to the MIC-KEY* tube, Sofia is able to enjoy typical toddler activities, such as swimming with other kids, solving puzzles and attending programs at the local library. “The MIC-KEY* tube has allowed Sofia to be a normal toddler,” says Sarah, “I was skeptical at first, but it has exceeded all of my expectations. It’s a great option for anyone with a long-term feeding need.”