8-yr-old Marley had undiagnosed cough for FIVE years until docs found out why they were wrong
ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Marley Enjakovic, an 8-year-old boy who had been struggling to breathe, was found with a plastic flower stuck in his throat for five years. It took two surgeries to locate the toy. As per reports, another surgery will be done this week to repair his airway and esophagus.
Marley's mother, Skye Enjakovic, said that he swallowed the tiny flower, which left him with a persistent cough and breathing problems, about five years ago as that was the time the issues started as reported by Daily Mail. He would always throw up his food as a toddler or couldn't finish a football or a basketball match due to his breathing difficulties, as per 9News. Skye initially thought probably it was because he was eating too fast. However, on December 19, 2021, Marley became critically ill and had to be rushed to Women’s and Children’s hospital in an ambulance. His lungs were inflamed that causing doctors to not be able to track down the underlying, as reported by Sunrise. Skye narrated the details on an online fundraiser by the hospital where she said, "His cough would not stop making it hard for him to catch his breath, at the arrival of the hospital his oxygen levels were low and they could hear a lot of secretions in his lungs and ordered a chest X-ray to check for phenomena. Luckily his X-ray pictures were taken a little bit higher up this time and they realised there was something going on with his esophagus and his trachea."
Skye and her husband were told that Marley had a tracheoesophageal fistula. "It is a connection from his esophagus to his trachea, meaning that food, drink and salvia had basically been entering his trachea (airway) and going on to his lungs," she explained and added, "Children are born with this condition but it is always picked up either in pregnancy or at birth and is operated at a few days old, they are born unable to swallow."
However, the doctor wasn't able to look at his trachea due to the inflammation and it was decided that he would be put on strong antibiotics. On December 27, Marley was flown to Melbourne due to the connection sitting near his main artery and the doctors found a plastic arts and crafts flower. The mother said, "I honestly couldn’t believe it! This was the whole cause of everything! I was relieved I finally had an answer."
The plastic was removed earlier this year and the now eight-year-old will undergo major surgery again this week to repair his airway and esophagus, as per Yahoo! News.