Adelaide boy had plastic toy stuck in his throat for FIVE YEARS

·3-min read

An eight-year-old Adelaide boy who had been struggling to breathe and hold down his food was found to have a plastic flower stuck in his throat for five years.

It took two surgeries to discover the object and another will be performed this week to repair his airway and oesophagus.

Skye Enjakovic's son Marley would always throw up his food as a toddler.

Pictured is Skye Enjakovic and her son Marley, both from Adelaide.
Adelaide mum Skye Enjakovic knew something was wrong with her son Marley. Source: Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation/Facebook

She thought perhaps it was because he was eating too fast. However, over time he started wheezing and was in and out of hospital and the doctor's office.

"You never know when something like this could happen to your children because I never thought it would happen to us," Ms Enjakovic said on an online fundraiser.

In December last year, Marley became critically ill and he was taken to hospital in an ambulance.

Ms Enjakovic said when her son arrived at the hospital his oxygen levels were so low staff could hear "a lot of secretions in his lungs".

He was checked for pneumonia, however, it was eventually discovered something was wrong with his oesophagus and his trachea.

After nervously waiting for Marley to come out of surgery, Ms Enjakovic and her husband were told he had tracheoesophageal fistula.

"It is a connection from his oesophagus to his trachea, meaning that food, drink and salvia had basically been entering his trachea (airway) and going on to his lungs," she explained.

"Children are born with this condition but it is always picked up either in pregnancy or at birth and is operated at a few days old, they are born unable to swallow."

The doctor was not able to properly look at Marley's trachea due to the inflammation and it was decided he would be put on strong antibiotics.

Mum 'finally' get answers

On December 27, Marley was flown to Melbourne due to the connection sitting near his main artery.

There, doctors decided they wanted to have another look and a camera was once again placed in Marley's airway.

They discovered something which finally gave Ms Enjakovic some answers — a plastic arts and crafts flower.

"I honestly couldn’t believe it! This was the whole cause of everything! I was relieved I finally had an answer," she wrote online.

"We are unsure how long this price of plastic was lodged in his airway, but my guess is at least 5 years as that’s when we started noticing small issues which became worse over time."

The plastic was removed earlier this year and the now eight-year-old will undergo major surgery again this week to repair his airway and oesophagus.

Doctors found a plastic craft flower stuck in Marley's airway, which was causing all the problems. Source: TikTok/skye_blue4
Doctors found a plastic craft flower stuck in Marley's airway, which was causing all the problems. Source: TikTok/skye_blue4

Ms Enjakovic said Marley has healed as well as hoped since his surgery in Melbourne. He was placed on a feeding tube to help.

"He honestly is the strongest kid, he hardly ever complains, he is so brave," she wrote.

"He has continued with his sports including a basketball game when he had a feeding tube still in."

Marley is raising money for the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation, where he was supported and cared for.

"We spent a lot of time at the Women's and Children's Hospital and honestly we had the best care by the surgical team there," Ms Enjakovic told ABC Radio Adelaide.

"Nothing was left unturned, even his surgeon from Adelaide is coming to his operation in Melbourne, that's how much they've cared and looked after him."

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