A small plastic toy stuck in the throat of a young Australian child who has experienced breathing difficulties for the most of his life.
Marley was eight years old and had suffered from a persistent cough that had made breathing difficult and frequently led him to vomit.
Marley’s parents were not concerned when he first started coughing when he was about two years old.
A few years later, doctors gave him an asthma diagnosis, but as his health deteriorated over time, his puffer did nothing to help.
The four-member family vowed to uncover the cause of Marley’s failing health because, according to his father Jay Enjakovic, they felt something did not add up.
“At that point, Skye and I really pressed our queries and pushed. We were definitely hoping for a response because we weren’t sure it was asthma.
After numerous admissions and discharges, Marley’s health finally broke down in December of last year, when he was deemed “very critical” and an ambulance was dispatched.
When he arrived, medical professionals ordered an x-ray, but Marley’s mother, Skye Enjakovic, claimed they made one important adjustment.
Fortunately, his x-ray images were obtained a little further up this time, and they discovered there was a problem with his oesophagus and trachea.
Later, Marley’s physician informed his anxious parents that their kid had been identified as having a tracheoesophageal fistula.
Skye stated that because of the connection, food, drink, and saliva had been effectively entering his trachea (airway) and continuing on to his lungs.
Children are born with this problem, but it is always detected during pregnancy or at birth, and they are operated on at a young age.
Due to the inflammation, Marley’s surgeon was unable to view into his trachea, therefore he was eventually referred to Melbourne Children’s Hospital for a surgical repair on December 27.
The doctors chose to examine his trachea once more before beginning surgery.
Skye waited “nervously” for hours to learn what they had unearthed, but she was unprepared for their startling find.
“A few hours later I received a phone call to meet his surgeon at recovery where they pulled a piece of plastic, an arts and craft plastic flower, from his airway,” she said.
“I honestly couldn’t believe it! This was the whole cause of everything! I was relieved I finally had an answer.
“We are unsure how long this price of plastic was lodged in his airway, but my guess is at least five years as that’s when we started noticing small issues which became worse over time.”