When James Travis was born on February 6, 2015, parents Tiffany and Jim learned that he was diagnosed with Tracheoesophageal Fistula (TEF), a birth defect of the esophagus and trachea. For James, his esophagus was connected to the trachea in one or more places, which made eating very dangerous, as food and saliva had a direct route to his lungs.
James had corrective surgery shortly after his diagnosis and was home in two weeks. However, his physicians later discovered that the fistula had returned, a phenomenon that only occurs in 1% of cases. This required a long, three-month stay in the Children’s Hospital of Central Illinois, where he went through multiple surgeries.
Once James was released from the hospital, the Travis Family started meeting with SPICE therapists. As they discussed goals for James, they knew what big obstacles he would face, namely, sitting up, crawling, eating, and rolling over. However, after working with SPICE for just a few short months, James seemed to be suddenly excelling in all areas due to the specific and detailed activities the therapists implemented. Not only were they well-planned, but they were fun!
Tiffany says that James’ therapists became their biggest cheerleaders. She says, "they gave me reassurance and celebrated every milestone James tackled with just as much excitement. They soon became more like friends then just his therapists. Seeing an organization who got so excited about my child’s accomplishments meant the world to our family."
"I really can’t say enough about the SPICE organization and their professionalism and dedication to helping children meet their maximum potential and goals," says Tiffany. "I firmly believe that without SPICE, James would not be where he is today."
Hundreds of children and families just like the Travis Family are in need of Marcfirst and SPICE services. Our mission is to help them all. We need your support to make it happen.