• 59°

‘Superboy’ – Infant Has 15 Surgeries And Counting

By Karen Chandler Smith
Cooleemee Correspondent

Last year, on Aug. 16, Stacy and Jolene Spry delivered their first child, Landen Michael Spry.  
As most parents, they had the nursery ready to receive their bundle of joy and instead of going home in two or three days, they began an unexpected medical journey.  
Landen was born not being able to eat and he couldn’t have bowel movements. VACTERL is a syndrome that affects only 20 children each year. V – Vertebral anomalies, A – Anal atresia (imperforate anus), C – Cardiovascular anomalies, TE – Tracheoesophagus atresia, Renal (kidney), and L – limb defects are the seven acronyms. Landen has four of the seven.
For 50 days Landen stayed in the NICU at Baptist Hospital and after going home he began choking, gagging, turning blue and basically drowning in his own secretions or salvia. The episodes became more frequent and staying on guard to ensure his safety was scary.    
Stacy and Jolene made the decision to send him to Boston on Jan. 29.  Dr. Jennings reassured them his problems could be fixed. He’s in an environment where these problems are seen every day.
Aside from spending 86 days in ICU, Landen has undergone 15 surgeries which include:  a 7-hour heart surgery, a 10-hour airway surgery to repair his trachea and remove a pouch …