Failure to Thrive: Oral Aversions and Nutrition
Danielle Leppo lives in Pennsylvania with her fiancé and daughter, Violet. She works part time in retail, but her number one priority is being mother to her CHD princess. Violet was born July 2012 with multiple heart defects, one lung, and incomplete heterotaxy syndrome. She has had two heart surgeries, a Nissen fundoplication and a g-tube placed due to aspiration and a “Failure to Thrive” diagnosis. She has struggled with gaining weight all of her life. At almost two years of age, she is still 80% g tube-fed. In between her two heart surgeries, she was unable to eat safely by mouth. This caused oral aversions that she had to overcome. With the help from a speech therapist since last June, Violet has been able to eat by mouth without gagging and eats a variety of foods now. Her feeding has been a struggle, but we are so pleased that she has been able to gain weight and remain healthy.
Kristi King is a senior pediatric dietitian at Texas Children’s Hospital and a clinical instructor at Baylor College of Medicine, providing nutrition counseling to children and their families, specializing in chronic malabsorptive and intestinal conditions. Kristi King was an essential member of the development of Baylor College of Medicine’s two-week nutrition and physical activity-based summer weight loss camp for obese children. She serves as a co-investigator for nutrition research projects including quality improvement, obesity and nutrition support. Kristi King is a frequent speaker to health professionals and the public, in both local and national settings, and serves as a nutrition expert and advisory board member for many community and health organizations, as well as, a media Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. She is a graduate of Florida State University and earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of Texas.
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