In September of 2003, Olivia and her twin brother London were born two months premature. In just a few short weeks, it became obvious that something was wrong with Olivia. She couldn’t keep down any milk, and was getting no nutrients -- she was literally starving, and had to be fed with an IV to stay alive.
Initially, Olivia’s doctors tried to treat her with medication, but that didn’t work – in fact; the medications began to cause breathing problems. Then, Olivia’s upper GI scan revealed that she had pyloric stenois, a disease that narrows the lower part of the stomach so that food and other stomach contents cannot pass through to the small intestine. This is what was making Olivia vomit forcefully whenever she ate.
After looking at Olivia’s test results, her doctor, Dr. John Bleacher, Chief of General Pediatric Surgery at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite and Medical Director of Trauma Services at Children’s at Scottish Rite, recommended that she be transferred from Northside to Children’s at Scottish Rite. Just two days later, he performed surgery on Olivia – a pyloromyotomy, which enlarged the opening from the stomach to the small intestine, making it possible for her to digest food normally. Dr. Bleacher used minimally invasive surgery techniques to perform the surgery, which made for a faster recovery.
According to Olivia’s mother, Valerie, “Olivia’s recovery was real quick and easy. She had no scarring, and we were able to just get her started slowly on food.”
Today, Olivia is a happy, healthy toddler who “gets into everything,” loves to eat, and enjoys playing with her brother. Says her mom; “We had a great experience with Dr. Bleacher. We were really eager for Olivia to have her surgery as quickly as possible, so she could start getting better, and he made it happen – he came in and did her surgery on a Sunday morning. He was a super doctor.”