Manny was diagnosed with Tracheoesophageal Fistula or "TE Fistula." This condition means that he had a "fistula" or connection between his trachea (windpipe) and esophagus (food tube). This condition explains why Manny would choke when he ate; the food would go through the fistula to his lungs, instead of his stomach, causing him to aspirate. Manny had major surgery when he was 5 days old at UWCH to remove this fistula. Besides the Surgery team, Manny got to meet various specialists throughout his 8 day stay at UWCH (Genetics, ENT, Audiology, Pediatrics, Neurology, Cardiology, Opthamology) and went through extensive testing (CT scans, X-rays, EKG's, Ultrasounds, Blood Tests to name a few). Manny will continue to have follow up appointments with many of these specialists throughout the years, but his prognosis in all areas are good.
When Manny was a month old he underwent a specialized hearing exam at UW to test for inner ear functionality and happily, he does have inner ear hearing. Manny has worn a bone conduction hearing aid since then to help him hear. Now, a few years later, Manny recently underwent two major 11 hour surgeries (April, 2011 and August, 2011) at age 4.5 to create two Big Boy Ears! While he has a few more surgeries to go, Manny is a very happy and healthy boy! The entire Wilke family is so proud to be part of the Greater Bucky Open.