Why Recognizing World Airway Disorders Day Is Important to Me

I celebrated World Airway Disorders Day on July 10.

I can’t help but think back to where I was two years ago, when my first child was born with the airway disorder, laryngomalacia. As he slept next to me, I remember hearing his labored breathing and out-of-control reflux. Since March 30, 2016, I had taken him to the pediatrician countless times but I was always told, “He’s a baby, babies cry. He will grow out of his noisy breathing.”

Back then I had no idea what an airway disorder was.

Unfortunately, due to the lack of awareness and urgency from my original medical team, my son went undiagnosed with severe laryngomalacia for 10 months which caused prolonged severe obstructive sleep apnea and a dangerously low baseline oxygen level.

He is now a happy 27- month-old boy and has had two life-saving airway surgeries thanks to an amazing ENT who was armed with the knowledge to help him.

I still can’t help but think about what would have happened if my pediatrician was more aware of the complications and severity that come along with airway disorders, specifically laryngomalacia and tracheomalacia. Would my son have walked before 17-months-old? Would he have the low muscle tone that he has today? Would I still carry with me the PTSD from the first year of his life?

Just three months ago my daughter was also diagnosed with laryngomalacia, but this time I knew what to do. I acted quickly and assembled our medical team and we have a plan in place to ensure she continues to thrive.

Two siblings sitting together on a couch

My hope today is that families that hear stridor, or noisy breathing, in their newborns, have little ones that choke while feeding or whose babies experience chest and neck retractions are taken seriously by their doctors.

I hope that families are referred to ENTs to be properly followed and most of all that they don’t have to wait a year for a diagnosis.

For more resources on laryngomalacia, visit copingwithlm.org.

Image Credits: Kim Marchan

Photo submitted by contributor.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Laryngomalacia

To the Mother Whose Baby Has Just Been Diagnosed With Laryngomalacia

So your baby was just diagnosed with laryngomalacia (LM). Can you pronounce it? Don’t worry, I couldn’t either. In fact, it took me three months to learn the correct pronunciation and spelling. In time you will be able to spell it backwards. You will know more about this defect than you ever thought possible. You [...]

Laryngomalacia Won't Take Our Daughter's Laughter

Dear Laryngomalacia, You have taken so much from my daughter, from me, and from my family. After a routine pregnancy, I delivered Louisa on August 31, 2014. It was an amazing experience to place her on my chest after she was born. It was beautiful. But you stepped in and stole the moment. You made her [...]

5 Reasons I'm Grateful for My Son's Disorder

My sweet 7-month-old son, Fynn Tucker, is in the fight for his life. It’s a fight he has been fighting since birth, something we were told was just raspy breathing caused from still having a little fluid in his lungs because he was born via c-section. But I knew in my heart my son was battling [...]

14 Different Ways I Can Define My Son's Breathing Disorder

1. Laryngomalacia — a diagnosis I found on my own while arguing with doctors that my sweet 7-day-old son shouldn’t be breathing like he was . 2. Laryngomalacia — a diagnosis my son was given at just 14-days-old. We were told this was “harmless,” and “He will outgrow it.” 3. Laryngomalacia — a diagnosis that caused by [...]