Innovation Helps Boy Enjoy Life Even More

Stories of Caring

Innovation Helps Boy Enjoy Life Even More

Christian Maike is like any other little 3-year-old boy.

He’s playful, rambunctious, and quick with a cute smile.

Except he’s not like just any other little 3-year-old boy.

Christian, who has Down syndrome, was born two weeks early. He was born with nine holes in his heart. He had open-heart surgery when he was just three months old and weighed barely 10 pounds.

He had ear tubes put in when he was 10 months old, and he had his adenoids removed at 15 months.

“Christian was an ear, nose and throat nightmare,” said Jennie Maike, Christian’s mother. “Those first few months, it felt like we were constantly in the hospital.”

Then, right after Christmas 2012, things got worse. Christian came down with another infection. The Maikes contacted Dr. Melissa McBrien, who is the Section Chief of Otolaryngology at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. Dr. McBrien saw Christian on New Year’s Eve and scheduled surgery for nine days later.

“His tonsils were very inflamed, and I knew they had to come out,” Dr. McBrien recalled.

With Christian’s history of chronic sinus infections, Dr. McBrien thought he would benefit from a balloon sinuplasty procedure by Acclarent, Inc., an innovative way to dilate the sinus openings without changing the shape of the nose, resulting in relief from sinus symptoms.

Balloon sinuplasty uses a small, flexible, balloon catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways and facilitate drainage of the mucus that builds up in patients suffering from chronic sinusitis symptoms. When the sinus balloon is inflated, it restructures and widens the walls of the sinus passageway while maintaining the integrity of the sinus lining.

“For a young person like Christian who repeatedly is getting inflamed, infected sinuses, traditional surgery isn’t really an optimal option because it permanently alters the anatomy of the nose,” explained Dr. McBrien. “The balloon sinuplasty system works great for a patient like Christian because there’s not as much trauma as with traditional surgery, and patients enjoy an improved quality of life.”

“This procedure really improved the quality of life for Christian and overall for our family, Jennie Maike said. “Now that he gets fewer infections, we can be out and about much more.”

“In my opinion, the balloon sinuplasty system is really innovative,” says Dr. McBrien. “It’s really changed the way physicians look at sinus drainage and ventilation.”

For Christian, he’s happy he gets fewer infections and feels so much better.

His quick smile and little giggle tells you so.

From the 2013 Johnson & Johnson Annual Report