6-year-old overcomes adversity at Children’s Hospital of Georgia

Published: May. 2, 2022 at 6:55 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Carson was five years old when he walked through the doors of the Children’s Hospital of Georgia.

“He was talking, but he wasn’t annunciating his words like he should have been, and it was very difficult to understand what he was saying at the time,” said Tifney Silven, Carson’s mom.

Carson first had tubes placed inside his ears to help him hear, but he still had trouble hearing out of his left ear. He went back for another surgery, and doctors noticed a cleft palate in the back of his mouth.

“It was a little scary because it was a more in-depth surgery that he was going to have to have than everything else, and I was just really worried about it,” she said.

Dr. Heather Koehn works with Carson and other kids experiencing issues related to the ears, nose, and throat. She says a benefit of receiving care at the children’s hospital is having multiple teams involved.

“They comprised of pediatric speech therapists to pediatric anesthesiologists. You really get a whole team of pediatric trained sub-specialist,” said Koehn, pediatric otolaryngology.

Koehn says a lot of these kids continue to come to the hospital throughout their life.

“We see such a huge difference in the lives of these kids. Some of those differences are quality of life changes, improving hearing, improving speech, and the ability to communicate. Some of them are cosmetically improving the way that a child looks and interacts with their surroundings,” she said.

She says what they do would not be possible without the support of the community. Support that paid for a $17,000 microscope that allows doctors to get an up-close look inside the ear.

“Support from the community is paramount in caring for these children, and we really can’t do it without our community supporters,” said Koehn.

As for Carson, his surgeries have gone well which have helped improve his hearing and speech.

Silven said: “He is a great kid. He really is. He is all over the place and so smart. He is already reading books, and he’s too smart for his own good sometimes.

Carson will have what is hoped to be the last surgery on his ear in six months. His mom’s message to any parent is if you think something is wrong, get it checked out as soon as possible.

For more information and how you can donate, visit https://www.augustahealth.org/give/miraclemonday.

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