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Advocating for Bridget: Coping with Hirschsprung ’s disease

On June 20, Bridget Landry celebrated a very special day with a hearty steak dinner. But it wasn’t her birthday. Instead, the 10-year-old and her family were marking the sixth anniversary of the day her ostomy bag was removed. As she enjoyed her meal, her parents, Carl and Laura, marveled at just how far their daughter had come. “For her first birthday, she couldn’t even take a bite of cake,” remembers Carl. Bridget’s first few months of life were similar to those of most infants: She had a typical birth, nursed and met all her milestones. Yet at six months, her parents began to notice something was amiss. She wouldn’t eat solid food, wasn’t having bowel movements and her belly looked distended. Her pediatrician suggested that she might just be constipated. “But in our heart of hearts, we knew something wasn’t right,” says Laura. A frustrating diagnosis By the time she was a year old, Bridget’s doctors in Maine had diagnosed her with Hirschsprung’s disease, a disorder in which some of the intestinal nerve cells don’t develop properly, causing them to interfere with the movement of food and stool in the intestines. Although the majority of children with Hirschsprung’s develop obstructions and other symptoms within the first six months of life, others don’t show signs of the disease for months or years. Her local surgeons treated her condition with a standard approach called a pull-throug...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - Category: Pediatrics Authors: Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Center for Advanced Intestinal Rehabilitation Dr. Samuel Nurko Dr. Tom Jaksic Hirschsprung's disease Motility and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Center Source Type: news

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