Orange : Baby Leaves Hospital After 10 Operations

Life hasn’t been easy for Jeffrey Baker, but after 10 operations in as many months, Jeffrey went home Tuesday for the first time ever.

Jeffrey, son of Linda and Robert Baker of Huntington Beach, was born last August with a tracheal esophagus fistula--a hole between his esophagus and windpipe that allowed food and fluid to leak into his lungs and air into his stomach.

Born at Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach, Jeffrey was transferred immediately to Childrens Hospital of Orange County in Orange, where he underwent surgery on his throat and was treated for associated complications.

On Tuesday, hospital doctors, nurses and Jeffrey’s family threw a going-home party for the boy.


“We’ve been waiting so long for this day,” said his mother. “I’m so proud of Jeffrey,” she added.

Jeffrey went home with three tubes to help him breathe and eat, said Childrens Hospital spokeswoman Laura Johnson. He still will need an operation to remove fluid from behind his ears, and at least one tube must remain for one or two years. But the others will come out as he learns to live without them.

“He hasn’t learned to swallow yet,” his mother said.