FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFTA) – It’s a lifesaving device that thousands of children rely on but not many people understand.
“We started noticing that he just wasn’t gaining weight like he was supposed to so we were going into the pediatrician for weekly weight checks, ” Josh Bryant, Carter’s dad.
Two months after adopting newborn Carter Josh and Megan Bryant of Bentonville realized something was wrong.
“It was a surprise to us, we didn’t adopt him expecting we were going to have a medically complicated child,” said Bryant.
After dozens of tests and hospitalizations, Carter remained in the third percentile for weight and couldn’t keep food down. Doctors decided he needed a feeding tube.
“To this day we don’t have a name for whatever’s doing this to him. We don’t know what syndrome it is or disease or any other diagnosis, just he’s not gaining weight, he’s not eating the way he’s supposed to. We need to make sure he gets the nutrition he needs to survive,” said Bryant.
Today, almost a year later Carter receives about 90 percent of his nutrition through the tube and now weighs 20 pounds.
“He’s gotten to the point where it’s almost as if he doesn’t know any different, it’s supposed to be there and that’s how he eats,” said Bryant.
With the feeding tube, Carter can live a normal life.
“He has been through so much and despite having half dozen surgeries and more hospitalizations and thousands of blood tests, this kid has a chronic joy about him,” said Bryant.
Carter’s parents say he will require the feeding tube for the foreseeable future, but they are hoping to eventually find out what caused his health problems.
For more information on Feed Tube Awareness Week, Click here.