While volunteering at a special needs orphanage in China, Lyn Thomas met Peyton, a toddler who was born with a birth defect called an anorectal malformation. This meant he was born without an anus, and for two years he had an ostomy, which is a surgically created opening in the body that allows for the discharge of stool into a colostomy bag.
After bonding with Peyton at the orphanage and upon returning to Atlanta, Lyn realized she wanted to adopt the child. The process was complete on Mother’s Day in 2014, and when she brought Peyton home, he was still wearing a colostomy bag. “I had to change the bag every hour, and sometimes it would leak,” Lyn said. “I was scared to leave the house with him because the care was ongoing.”
In an attempt to help care for Peyton, Lyn took him to the Pelvic and Anorectal Care Program at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta that summer. After being evaluated by a multidisciplinary team of pediatric surgeons, gastroenterologists and urologists, Peyton was also diagnosed with a tethered spinal cord and needed surgery.
He underwent a successful neurosurgical procedure by Barunashish Brahma, MD, and then doctors began the next phase of his treatment plan. Pediatric Surgeon George Raschbaum, MD, performed an MRI-guided pull through surgery to create and properly position Peyton’s anus. During the healing phase of his surgery, Peyton continued to need his colostomy bag, but the ostomy was closed in February of 2015.
And, now that he is on the right track to recovery, Peyton is feeling better than ever.