The MIC-KEY* tube has enabled Tricia to get back to her every day routines. The day after discharge from the hospital, Tricia was able to go back to school full-time
A Life Changing Diagnosis
Tricia Melland was like any active second-grader participating in competitive figure skating, basketball and on a diving team. In 2006, at the age of seven, Tricia underwent a general anesthesia for a minor surgery. Following the surgery, she began to have sensitivities to light and sound and experienced blurred vision and chronic migraines. Tricia was a bit of a medical mystery and years later, doctors finally diagnosed Tricia with mitochondrial dysfunction, a chronic genetic disorder that occurs when cells in the body fails to produce enough energy for organs to function properly.
Due to the mitochondrial dysfunction, when Tricia gets sick, she becomes sicker than the average person. In January 2009, Tricia’s health took a drastic turn when she caught a virus that attacked her gastrointestinal system leaving her unable to eat. Tricia could no longer eat food and had to receive nutrients intravenously through a central line delivering total parenteral nutrition (TPN) and then through a Nasal Jejunal (NJ) tube. Tricia had a NJ tube for almost a year and was nourished this way despite the fact that NJ tubes are typically intended as a short term solution usually lasting four to six weeks. It became clear that Tricia needed a more permanent feeding solution.
Researching and Finding the Right Tube
In July 2011, Wendy and Tricia attended the Annual Oley Foundation Conference to educate themselves on the different types of feeding tubes available. The Oley Foundation is a national, independent, non-profit organization that provides information and support to those on home intravenous or tube-fed nutrition. At the conference, Wendy and Tricia visited the Halyard booth where they spoke with representatives about enteral feeding and the MIC-KEY* tube. Tricia and Wendy were able to see, touch and feel the device that would soon provide Tricia with all of her nutrition, alleviating a lot of fears and concerns they both were feeling about switching form a NJ tube to a semi-permanent feeding tube.
Tricia underwent surgery in August 2011 to have the MIC-KEY* Low-Profile Transgastric-Jejunal Feeding Tube placed, a device she was already familiar with. “We feel that it is the best feeding tube on the market and it provides her with a quality of life allowing her to compete in diving, attend dances and school without drawing too much attention,” explained her mother.
Diving Right In
The MIC-KEY* tube has enabled Tricia to get back to her every day routines. The day after discharge from the hospital, Tricia was able to go back to school full-time. Tricia finds cleaning and maintaining the tube very easy, in fact she flushes the tube on a regular basis by herself. Tricia appreciates the low profile of the MIC-KEY* tube that makes it undetectable under her swimsuit and clothing.
“One of the reasons I think the MIC-KEY* tube is so great is because it’s barely noticeable which allows for a higher quality of life with less attention being drawn to her feeding tube. Although Tricia is unable to eat orally, she feels comfortable joining family and friends for all meals, whether it be in our home or out at a restaurant,” said her mother. “So much of our socializing in life centers around meals, it’s where life happens. I’m grateful that she feels comfortable in public and is still able to do the things she loves as it’s essential to her physiological well-being.”