8-year-old Marley Enjakovic has dealt with an oppressive cough, for the last five years of his life. Marley was around two years old when he developed a cough and at the time, Marley’s parents did not think much of it. Doctors diagnosed him with asthma and allergies for a couple of years, but his puffer did nothing as his condition gradually grew worse.
But after struggling with breathing issues for most of his life, the eight-year-old boy finally had the cause of his health problems solved when doctors found a small plastic toy lodged in his throat.
Marley’s parents just knew there was something wrong with her son’s throat. As a toddler, Marley had begun to choke and vomit when eating food.
“We always assumed that he was eating too fast because it would self [resolve] and there’d be no other issues,” Skye Enjakovic said.
“As time went on, that’s when his wheezing started to happen and he just was in and out of hospital and doctors’ surgeries.”
Ms. Enjakovic initially thought her baby had a respiratory condition because Doctors had given her an asthma diagnosis. But finally using a puffer had no further effect on the coughing or wheezing.
In December 2021, Marley had a coughing fit so severe he was rushed to the hospital. His oxygen levels were low and a chest x-ray showed something was amiss with his trachea and esophagus.
A bronchoscopy revealed Marley had a tracheoesophageal fistula, which is a connection from his esophagus to his trachea.
Just prior to the surgery, doctors used cameras to take another look down Marley’s airway and that was when they discovered a plastic arts and craft flower lodged in his throat. And there they find the foreign object in his throat.
The plastic flower that had become lodged in the boy’s throat was removed by the doctors. Marley was then set to undergo surgery to repair damage to his airway. The blockage in Marley’s throat was turning into a very serious issue for his health. He simply could not catch his breath when he got going; he was struggling to keep up with his peers during weekend basketball and soccer games.
Ms. Enjakovic believes the plastic flower could have been there for up to five years, as that was when Marley had begun to show symptoms. Although doctors initially diagnosed Marley with asthma, his mother doubted the diagnosis.
She said, “I was absolutely shocked. But also really relieved, to be honest, because out of all these years, I finally had an answer, my main concern at that point in time was that he was actually born with that condition. Because if he had been born with it, he would have had other issues. To know it was caused by a foreign body, it was a slight bit of relief for me. My message to other parents is that if you feel like there is something wrong, just keep pushing for it. I am so glad I did because it means I have him today.”
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