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Tracheoesophageal fistula, tracheomalacia, ventricular septal defect
Seth Lewis

First-time mom B. Lynn Lewis of Pelham, Alabama refers to her son, Seth, as her “little lightning bug.” It’s hard to recall life before him, she says. And life with him has been nothing short of sweetness, despite the hurdles along the way.

“I get it now. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for him,” Lewis said of motherhood. “I’ve only had him for four months and I can’t imagine not being his mom.”

Seth, born in November 2017, was rushed to Children’s of Alabama after his birth at another local hospital in Birmingham. He was diagnosed with a tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF), an abnormal connection between the esophagus and the trachea. Doctors also diagnosed Seth with tracheomalacia, or a collapse of the airway when breathing, and a ventricular septal defect – a hole between the lower chambers of the heart.

Seth was admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s, where a multidisciplinary care team sprung to action. Lewis found comfort in Children’s Family-Centered Care approach. She felt at ease asking questions about Seth’s treatment and surgeries, and was part of the decision-making process. And it was obvious Seth felt at ease, too.

“He loves to smile and the nurses are always saying he’s trying to flirt,” Lewis said, laughing. “He’s been a spunky kid throughout all this.”

Seth has had three surgeries so far, the most recent of which to fix the hole in his heart. Children’s has been Seth’s home since birth, but he and Lewis are looking forward to life outside the NICU as mother and son.

“Just the thought of putting him in the car and living life,” Lewis said, her voice full of hope. “I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s all coming together now.

“I could’ve gone my whole life without meeting these nurses and doctors, but considering the situation, I’m glad I did,” Lewis said.
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