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Contact the Center for Airway Disorders

Center for Airway Disorders (CAD) Patient Stories

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Breathing easy: Samantha’s story

Samantha Hinton spent more than a decade suffering with a laryngeal cleft. After treatment at Boston Children’s Hospital, Samantha is now enjoying just being a kid. Read more




Jonathan's Story

My name is Jonathan H. and I am an older teenager from the state of Virginia. I started having major aspirating/coughing problems when I was about 4 and at the time doctors diagnosed it as reflux that needed a fundoplication. It seemed to go away somewhat for a while, but it started up again. My doctors back in VA did two revisions, two years in a row (starting when I was 14). Then we thought it went away, but it kept getting worse and worse.

Finally, I landed in the hospital for a week back in late May 2012, where they decided that essentially, I would have to go on feeding tubes for the rest of my life because they couldn't figure out what was still causing my problems. My parents and I weren't content with that, so we went to three other hospitals up and down the east coast, none of them had answers either.

That is until we went to Boston Children¹s Hospital and I was examined under anesthesia in October 2012...where Dr. Rahbar at the Center for Airway Disorders found my laryngeal cleft that apparently had been there since I was born, got worse as I got older, and went undiagnosed until I had turned 18. I underwent the laryngeal cleft repair surgery on February 4, 2013 on a return trip from VA to Boston Children's Hospital. I stayed for two nights and was doing so well that I could go home! As a side note, they wanted me to stay one more night for a follow up but unfortunately a big snow storm was headed Boston's way so I had to go home.

I'm not aspirating anymore and I'm eating pretty much normally again- something I would've probably not been able to do had it not been for Dr. Rahbar and the team finding that doggone laryngeal cleft. Thank you Dr. Rahbar and team for your hard work!

Jonathan Howard

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO