Par­ents thank TOFs for back­ing Ron­nie’s battle

Macclesfield Express - - CHARITY ROUND-UP - STU­ART GREER

THE mother of a lit­tle boy born with a rare con­di­tion has pledged to fundraise for a char­ity which has sup­ported her.

Ron­nie Cantrell needed emer­gency surgery as soon as he was born as his feed­ing tube was not con­nected to his stom­ach.

Now two years old the plucky tod­dler has un­der­gone a se­ries of op­er­a­tions and faces fu­ture treat­ment. His par­ents Ni­cola and Lee, of Ox­ford Road, Macclesfield, have been sup­ported by staff at Alder Hey Hos­pi­tal in Liver­pool, where Ron­nie is treated, and the char­ity TOFS.

Ni­cola, 38, is fundrais­ing to help the char­ity sup­port other fam­i­lies fac­ing their own bat­tles with a con­di­tion that af­fects only one in ev­ery 3,500 ba­bies.

Ron­nie was born at Macclesfield Hos­pi­tal. Doc­tors re­alised some­thing was wrong im­me­di­ately. He was di­ag­nosed with with a con­di­tion known as a tra­cheooe­sophageal fis­tula (TOF), which is a con­nec­tion be­tween the up­per part of the oe­soph­a­gus and the wind­pipe, or trachea.

It causes air to pass from the wind­pipe to the oe­soph­a­gus and stom­ach, and stom­ach acid to pass into the lungs.

Ni­cola said: “He was blow­ing bub­bles and they rushed him off to the neona­tal ward. The next day he was taken to Alder Hey and had surgery to re­join his oe­soph­a­gus and re­move the fis­tula.

“It was a fright­en­ing time. I was stuck in Macclesfield while Ron­nie was in Liver­pool. All I could do is wait for news from Lee.”

Ni­cola was even­tu­ally al­lowed to join Ron­nie in Liver­pool and the brave tot spent two weeks re­cov­er­ing be­fore be­ing al­lowed to go back home.

She said: “It hasn’t been plain sail­ing. As Ron­nie has grown he has needed three op­er­a­tions to stretch his oe­soph­a­gus. He still strug­gles to feed, as the food can get stuck, and there are regular chest in­fec­tions, es­pe­cially in the win­ter. But over­all he is do­ing re­ally well. We are not sure what the fu­ture holds for Ron­nie in terms of treat­ment, but he’s be­ing very brave.”

A re­cent fundrais­ing event at Fresh bar on Wood Street raised £2,400 and Ni­cola ran the Lon­don Marathon on Sun­day.

Ni­cola said: “TOFS have been amaz­ing. They are only a small char­ity so ev­ery penny helps. I also want to raise aware­ness of this con­di­tion which is very rare.”

Do­nate at my­do­nate.bt. com/fundrais­ers/nico­la­cantrell1.

●● Ni­cola and (inset) Lee Cantrell with son Ron­nie

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