Gastrointestinal Surgery Patient Stories

Born with a bowel obstruction, we thank the doctors and nurses who took care of Hunter during his 45-day stay at Children's – Minneapolis

After I had my C-section I was only able to see Hunter for 2 seconds, then they whisked him away to the adjoined room were the neonatal team waited. While I was getting stitched up the neonatal team looked Hunter over and soon came out of the room to let me know what was all wrong with my 33-week-gestation baby who we knew ahead of time was very ill with a bowel obstruction. When Hunter was all settled into Children's NICU I was finally able to touch and get a good look at him. All I could think about was "Thank God he's alive and has all 10 toes and fingers." At 2 days of age Hunter underwent his first surgery to extract 10 centimeters of his small intestine. The surgery was a great success. Thanks to Dr. Wahoff and his team. Full Story

James' gastroschisis surgery

When my Doctor told me that "James" (my unborn baby) had Gastroschisis, we were frightened - not knowing how, why, or what Gastroschisis was in the first place. We were told that James would be born with a hole in his abdomen and a portion of his small intestine outside of his body. Full Story.

Noah's surgery for Hirschsprung's disease

My second child, Noah, was rushed to Children's at only two days old. The doctors discovered that he had a fairly rare condition called Hirschsprung's Disease. The only option was to operate and remove 1/3 of his colon. Noah was only four days old when he had his surgery. Full Story.

Surgery for Hirschsprung's Disease at four days old, I'm so grateful that I have my beautiful almost eight-year-old son

10/11/2007
Caryn
Elk River, MN

My second child, Noah, was rushed to Children's at only two days old. The doctors discovered that he had a fairly rare condition called Hirschsprung's Disease. The only option was to operate and remove 1/3 of his colon.

Noah was only four days old when he had his surgery.

The staff at Children's was so good to us. They answered all our questions and told us exactly what they were doing and what was going to happen next every step of the way. I'm so grateful that I have my beautiful almost eight-year-old son, thanks to Children's.

I tell all of my friends that I would never wish for any child to have to be in the hospital, but if yours ever needs it, Children's is the place to be!

Born with a bowel obstruction, we thank the doctors and nurses who took care of Hunter during his 45-day stay at Children's - Minneapolis

09/03/2008
Hunter's Story
By Colleen
Glencoe, MN

It all started when baby Hunter broke my water. I was immediately rushed to Abbott Northwestern Hospital by ambulance. Once I got there I was hooked up to monitors and IVs.

After I had my C-section I was only able to see Hunter for 2 seconds, then they whisked him away to the adjoined room were the neonatal team waited. While I was getting stitched up the neonatal team looked Hunter over and soon came out of the room to let me know what was all wrong with my 33-eek-old baby who we knew ahead of time was very ill with a bowel obstruction.

When Hunter was all settled into Children's NICU I was finally able to touch and get a good look at him. All I could think about was "Thank God he's alive and has all 10 toes and fingers." At 2 days of age Hunter underwent his first surgery to extract 10 centimeters of his small intestine. The surgery was a great success. Thanks to Dr. Wahoff and his team.

After the surgery Hunter started his journey to recovery. He had his good days and his bad days. He had a lot of setbacks on eating orally. But once he got the hang of it he was on his way to gaining weight and coming home, so we thought. Hunter gave us a scare when he was put in the ICC. He started to throw up his bottles and he developed a fever. The doctors and nurses were very helpful in explaining why this was happening. There was a slim chance that where the incision was in his intestine it was growing shut.

After a CAT Scan everything was okay. Hunter developed an allergy to milk and soy (just like his mommy), so after we found this out Hunter was put on Neocate formula for his duration at Children's.

Hunter was finally able to come home after staying 45 days in the hospital. He is now 3 years old and going to preschool in October. I just want to thank everyone who made our stay in Minneapolis a pleasant one and for all the doctors and nurses who took very good care of our Hunter. We will be sending you a recent picture of little Hunter with a Christmas card. Thanks for all that you have done for us.

Our NICU and ICU experience at Children's with Gastroschisis

11/09/2007
By Jessica
Saint Stephen, MN

When my Doctor told me that "James" (my unborn baby) had Gastroschisis, we were frightened - not knowing how, why, or what Gastroschisis was in the first place. We were told that James would be born with a hole in his abdomen and a portion of his small intestine outside of his body.

James had his share of complications throughout the rest of his time in utero - between low levels of amniotic fluid and decreased or no fetal moments. James was born at 36 weeks and 4 days; he was 5 pounds 9 ounces. Pretty much considered a full-term baby, and he was exceptionally big.

Right after labor and delivery James was rushed to a team of nurses for an array of tubes, IVs and a wet wrap - so that the portion of small intestine that was outside of his body would stay moist, functioning, and free from infection. The nurses whisked him off to his first batch of surgeries. We always reminded ourselves that it could have been a lot worse.

His first surgery at Children's was to insert a Broviac tube in through his chest to his stomach for feeding. Then a tube down his nose to drain the bile that lay in his stomach - that tube became very important to us. He needed that tube to clear his stomach until his body was through healing. James' body wasn't allowing the bile to transfer from his stomach into his intestines. The second surgery was to repair his abdomen. The doctors did a great job to repair the hole that nature had created. With his abdomen repaired and all of the surgeries over, for the time being, it became a waiting game.

James was transferred to the NICU of Children's directly from his surgeries. The nurses and doctors were unbelievably genuine and caring. In that first week and a half we learned a lot - especially to be grateful for what you have. It was hard to see our baby in a warmer in the NICU; while on morphine and a respirator as well as a mass of wires and tubes. He did so well in the NICU in the first week and a half that he was well enough to be transferred to the ICU.

While in the ICU and improving daily, he suddenly came down with a fever and was not himself. The doctors and nurses were great at finding the cause of his fever. They found out that the pressure in his abdomen caused by the repairing of his Gastroschisis had caused his abdomen to herniate into his scrotum. So that night James underwent his third surgery at not even a month old.

The surgeons repaired the herniation beautifully and he slowly became himself again. The days passed quickly with the help of all of the staff at the hospital and their care for not only the children but also the families. Two weeks later, after a long month of roller-coastering, James was drinking 80cc of milk and maintaining all vital signs. The doctor gave us clearance. We could finally bring him HOME. He wouldn't have any more wires, tubes, IVs and monitors. It was a monumental day, a day of freedom.

Now James is three and full of energy and curiosity like any three year old. Besides his scars you would never know that he had any troubles trying to come into this world. There are no projected long-term effects of Gastroschisis that we know of, but we will always be indebted to Children's Hospital for their work. If not for their knowledge we may not have my son to hug and kiss goodnight.