Kaiba Gionfriddo has a very rare condition that occurred when he was just 6 weeks old. The condition caused him to stop breathing from time to time. So, when he was brought to the doctor, he was diagnosed with tracheobronchomalacia.
Tracheobronchomalacia is a very rare ailment that is characterized by a weak windpipe which collapses every now and then. This prevents the proper flow of air in and out of the lungs.
In the case of Kaiba, it was so severe that it caused even his heart to stop beating. Thus, a tube was placed in his trachea to aid his breathing. He was also put on a ventilator as a support. However, this seemed to be just a temporary remedy because his life-threatening issue continued.
Not to be deterred, his parents turned to the research of Michigan doctors which involved artificial airway splints. But the problem is that it was never tested on a patient yet.
Nevertheless, the parents saw the situation as life-threatening for their young boy so they agreed on it. Upon their approval, the doctors immediately started 3D printing layers of plastic to come up with an artificial airway for Kaiba.
With the approval of the Food and Drug Administration the next day, the operation of Kaiba was set into motion. The 3D printed material was inserted on the baby. After that, the medical personnel noted that the baby was breathing normally for the first time.
NowA year has passed since Kaiba’s operation and he never had a breathing problem ever since said his parents through the news source. His pediatrician assured that he continues to be healthy since his operation.
A Permanent Solution
Despite the success, Dr. John Brent from New York said that only time will tell if the 3D printed tube inserted in the boy can provide a permanent solution because it is only made of plastic. However, the report pointed out that the splint is capable of growing as the child does due to its carefully placed slits along its length.