Parents thank TOFs for backing Ronnie’s battle
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