This is Matthew. As I mentioned in my “About” page, Matthew is the youngest of our 6 children and the inspiration behind this blog. Children with Down syndrome often suffer from various medical conditions. Matthew has had multiple medical complications, though many of them have been corrected. His digestive tract proved to be more challenging of all his diagnoses. Matthew has struggled with multiple digestive tract complications from birth such as Hirschsprung’s Disease, gastroparesis, pseudo-obstruction and gastric strictures. At age three the problems got so severe that he spent the next three and a half years TPN dependent (being fed through an IV line in his chest). Thanks to the amazing work of several teams of doctors, Matthew had his digestive tract reconstructed allowing him to eat solid food once again. One of the complications that remained was that his stomach did not empty fast enough. The other is, since he was unable to eat anything from 4-7 years old, he has limited taste and texture capabilities. Because that is still the case, Matthew must be fed though a G-tube over night and has been restricted to a liquid and pureed diet during the day.
As Matthew continued to grow, creating healthy and well balanced meals became a challenge. Also a serious blood infection that nearly took him from us left him with a compromised immune system. I needed something that could make his food the consistency of baby food but in larger quantities using only the most wholesome,vitamin and antioxidant rich foods.
In 2011 we purchased a Vitamix and my problems were solved(Shop Vitamix!). I began creating healthy whole food meals for him that were not only quick but tasted great! Then, in 2014, Matthew’s digestive tract took another down turn. When Matthew was 8 months old, he was diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease. This is a condition where properly functioning nerve cells in the colon are absent causing chronic constipation. The surgery was a success but, after years of functioning well on it’s own, his colon began to slow down. I then began creating blends that were high in fiber (for example, The Poopinator and The Poopinator Plus) but smooth enough to put through his g-tube to naturally aid in his motility. These blends were very healthy but not ones that he would have eaten orally. Without the Vitamix, I would have never attempted to puree ingredients such as raw celery and put it through his g-tube without straining.
My blog not only offers recipes but also lots of information on how to save time and money while eating healthy. Also, because I have had to create recipes for Matthew to be used through his g-tube, I have been able to help transition other g-tube patients referred by his Pediatric Gastroenterologist from formula to a blended diet. If you are interested in transitioning, please click on “Contact Me” for instructions on how to set up a consultation. I look forward to reading your comments. If you like what you see, please “like” my posts, follow my blog and share with your friends.