MSNBC Omaha, NE
Whenever the boy tries to eat food, he gags, chokes and can’t swallow it.
“He wants to try something. He puts it in his mouth and doesn’t know what to do with it,” said Jack’s mother, Tina Moser.
Jack was born with a rare birth defect. His large intestine was missing and his small intestine was barely functioning. Three years ago Jack had a life-saving triple organ transplant, receiving a new pancreas, liver and small intestine at the Nebraska Medical Center. He’s been tube fed his entire life because his body couldn’t tolerate food.
“It’s a whole mental and emotional thing that a lot of people don’t think of. You have to learn it as a baby,” said Tina.
Jack recently started feeding therapy at UNMC’s Munroe Meyer Institute. A few hours a week, he meets with occupational and behavioral therapists to repeatedly work on the intricacies of holding a cup, taking sips and swallowing a milk-type formula.
The hope is to graduate to solid foods and eventually end the tube feedings that have kept the boy alive. In addition to the stresses of being a transplant patient and taking daily medicine, his mom said Jack is in constant pain and has a blood disorder that’s treated with chemotherapy. He’s in remission right now.