Joe G. writes in from Denver, Colorado:
Joe: I was born with Esophageal Atresia in 1958, Denver Colorado. I beileve my esophagus was only an inch or two at the most. They waited until I was 2 years of age and then went in through my back and used the intestine to make the rest of the esophagus. I still have all the articles that the Rocky Mountain News ran on me during that time. I know how hard it was for my folks. I always felt if I could be any help to a young faimily that could see a person who is now 53 healthy/ married/ kids etc I would be more than happy to.
eatef.org: What was your earliest memory of having eatef?
Joe: 3-4 years of age, had my first bite of food at 2 years of age, Ice Cream
eatef.org: How did it affect your lifestyle? (e.g. did you avoid certain foods or activities, did you miss much school, etc)
Joe: Missed a lot of school in 3rd and 4th grade. My mom and dad were great they let me know what ever sports I wanted, football etc. The doctor at the time pushed them to let lead a normal kids life. I eat anything, but my mom was always worried about me choking.
eatef.org: How did it affect your sense of self, as you grew up, and even now? (e.g. did you feel 'different', or see others as being more 'normal' than you, etc)
Joe: Was tough, I have to push my food down, sometimes it gets stuck in the throat still have to do that. I did not like taking my shirt off because of all the scars.
eatef.org: What is your most significant memory related to this?
Joe: I can’t vomit, still to this day, when I get the flu etc not a lot of fun
eatef.org: How did it affect your family and friends?
Joe: Tough on my mom and dad in the early years, every time I got sick they thought it was from the condition. But over time they were much better. Birthdays were a big deal to them, as each year I made it they saw it as a gift. My sisters/brother did see me get all the attention early on.
eatef.org: What advice would you have for parents of kids with eatef, and directly for people with eatef?
Joe: Let your kids lead a normal life. If the Doctor gives the ok. They are as normal as any other kid.
Thanks for sharing your story Joe!
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