Leslie and Matthew Hutcheson’s daughter Brooklyn started having trouble sleeping when she was just 18 months old, often struggling to breathe at night and gagging or snoring in her sleep.
The family’s otolaryngologist (ENT), who had surgically inserted Brooklyn’s first set of ear tubes when she was 11 months old, recommended removing the toddler’s tonsils and adenoids to help with her sleep challenges. Brooklyn underwent 12 surgeries in all, including seven set of tubes and a turbinate reduction surgery, with her last set of tubes removed in May 2016 when a fungus was growing on them.
But nothing changed for her. At 2 years old, Brooklyn underwent her first sleep study and was diagnosed with central and obstructive apnea and started using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine at age 3 to help her sleep better.
After growing tired of the cold weather in Michigan, the Hutcheson family moved to Atlanta in 2014. The family was soon referred to Gary Montgomery, MD, Pediatric Pulmonologist and Medical Director of the Sleep Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. At the center, Brooklyn underwent a second sleep study and Dr. Montgomery took her off the CPAP machine to see how her body would respond.
Soon thereafter, Leslie noticed that Brooklyn was struggling in school and a counselor suggested Brooklyn be put back on the CPAP machine. Dr. Montgomery noticed her apnea levels were decreasing and he advised Brooklyn to begin using the CPAP machine again. “She’s a totally different kid now,” said Leslie.