Pediatric Sleep Medicine Patient Story
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Allen, Sleep Apnea, Age 3
Allen started experiencing breathing issues before he turned one, likely due to being born prematurely and having underdeveloped lungs. Allen's health began to worsen as he grew older. His mother Latoya brought him to University of Maryland Children's Hospital where pediatric pulmonologist Ana Lasso-Pirot, MD, diagnosed him with asthma and a swallowing issue.
"Additionally, Allen wasn't sleeping well at night. We did a sleep study and he was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea," Latoya said.
Allen was then referred to Kevin Pereira, MD, a pediatric otolaryngologist who performed an adenotonsillectomy to remove his tonsils and adenoid tissue behind Allen's nasal cavity to expand his upper airway. After the surgery and another sleep study, Allen's sleep apnea was still severe. "Because Allen had residual severe sleep apnea after surgery, we placed him on a c-pap machine so that he could sleep through the night," Dr. Pereira said.
Using the c-pap every night was a bit of an adjustment, but Allen rose to the challenge. "He's involved in his own care—I allow him to turn on his machine at night. Now that he's sleeping better, he's not as tired during the day and a bit more focused. He's a fighter and he's been through a lot, but he's doing pretty well," Latoya said.
He also has big dreams of becoming a pilot one day. "He gets so excited when he hears or sees an airplane. He just takes off," Latoya said.