Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Location: Cleveland, OH
|Posted: Dec Fri 15, 2006 1:48 pm Post subject: Interstitial Lung Disease Testimony
|Interstitial Lung Disease Testimony
Although I have never met Leia in person, this little lady has been part of our lives at the Sunshine Store for several years now. Her grandmother, Kris, a customer at our store, is happy to report that Leia is doing great lately, in large part to the herbs she has been using.
Kris wanted to share what is happening for Leia in case others out there could benefit from this information. Kris is especially impressed with NSP Licorice Extract for reducing the serious problem of buildup of mucus in Leia's lungs. The cortisone-like activity of licorice has significantly reduced the quantity and the thick consistency of the mucus in Leia's lungs. Several other interstitial lung disease sufferers Kris has met are now using the licorice extract also with good results.
Reproduced below is an article from Xomed's website, and following that is the letter Kris sent the Sunshine Store.
Patient Testimonial: Leia Peeden
Leia Peeden was born three months premature, weighing only 2.5lbs. She suffered most problems normally associated with premature births. However, in addition to these ailments, at about one year of age her guardian and grandmother, Kris Heitkemper, began to notice that Leia was experiencing hoarseness of voice and at times turning blue and purple. An assumption was made that Leia was suffering from some sort of circulation problem or perhaps an infection. But, the problem grew worse. Leia began having trouble catching her breath - to the point where Kris was afraid to lay her flat. Instead, she held Leia on her shoulder while she slept.
Finally, Kris made an appointment with Charles Myer, MD at Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinatti, OH. Dr. Myer operated on Leia within four hours of examining her - determining that pharyngeal papillomas were present. A short time later, Leia was diagnosed as suffering from acute Recurrent Laryngeal Papillomatosis, a wart virus that began blocking both Leia's pharynx and larynx. Using laser treatment, Dr. Myer performed surgery in which Leia had to be placed under general anesthesia every two to four weeks. Due to the abnormally fast growth rate of these tumors, the treatments became increasingly more frequent -- until at age two, Leia was having laser surgery every seven to ten days. She was put on full respiration and required a tracheal tube. To make matters worse, the insertion of the trach tube caused the virus to spread into the trachea and esophagus so that each time Leia ingested food, she projectile vomited. The virus continued to spread below the tracheal tube into her bronchus. Leia suffered tracheal and bronchial malasia. Her left bronchus collapsed on more than one occasion. That, combined with the great frequency of laser surgeries and the rapid rate of papilloma growth, put Leia at a dangerous risk during her surgeries. Leia's life expectancy was called into question. Would she be able to live beyond early childhood?
With input from Children's physicians, Medtronic Xomed, the world's largest company focusing on needs of ear, nose and throat physicians, provided the XPS®® Powered Micro Debrider and blade that allows access to the laryngeal area (airway). "It works like the video game Pac Man®® the way it gobbles up tissue," says Charles M. Myer, III, a physician in Children's department of Otolaryngology (ENT) and maxillofacial surgery.
It took Dr. Myer three to four surgeries, using the new SkimmerT Laryngeal Blade from Medtronic Xomed, to completely debulk Leia's airway. Her vocal cords could be visualized for the first time in three years. Kris began to hear noise for the first time in many years from Leia. She sounded like a six-month old, and she was now five years old. Leia, who had only been able to communicate with sign language until this point, now began to learn how to speak. After a lifetime total of 200 surgeries, the powered shaver has decreased Leia's surgery schedule to once every four to six weeks, as opposed to once every seven to ten days, allowing Leia more independence (less surgery time; more "normal" life). At age seven, Leia still remains on a Bipap ventilator 2 hours a day, but does enjoy an occasional movie night out. She can speak and is learning to add tonal quality to her speech. She uses a harmonica to learn how to breathe through her nose. Her grandmother, Kris, home schools Leia and reports that she is an avid computer enthusiast.
According to Kris, "Leia's quality of life has absolutely flourished. Every day is a miracle. The powered shaver blade from Medtronic Xomed has given Leia the ability to smell and taste. It has given her voice and character. Her quality of life has far superseded our expectations . . . and many others. Without the shaver, she wouldn't be this far. I know that for a fact."
Here is Kris's letter to Susan and Jeff:
Hi this is Kris Heitkemper. I wanted to let you know about Leia for your newsletter. Her full name is Leia Peeden Heitkemper. With her recurrent tumor growths in the larynx, pharynx, trachea, and bronchus along with her tracheostomy since age two years, she clogs up in her airway several times a day. The mucus becomes very tenacious and sometimes is difficult to get up, requiring suctioning. Due to her tumor condition, she has had much bleeding in the trachea from the suctioning. To avoid this, I have highly encouraged her to cough frequently, lavaging down a few cc's of normal saline to loosen and open her airway.
Leia has had six-and-a-half years of nearly two hundred surgeries, use of a ventilator and other health problems. Leia also has conditions of bronchial and tracheal malasias which totally collapse parts of the airway. Several times she has had a left collapsed bronchus and numerous times of atelatactasis areas of collapse in the lungs. To say the least, Leia's health condition has been guarded with prognosis. At one time I was told she had a poor chance of survival.
One of her diagnoses is interstitial lung disease. Being around people, especially children, would nearly always end up with a hospital stay centering around severe pneumonia. Jim and I have always been cautious with her exposures. Our determined care and Leia's high spirit to survive life have led her to a better condition and diagnosis. We have worked diligently with her many doctors as well as tried many Nature's Sunshine supplements and herbs. Currently, Leia takes daily injections of a type of chemotherapy with very minimal side effects. However, she is ventilator free and not in need of oxygen.
For the past months we attribute our success to many factors. Leia takes three Phytosoy capsules daily, an Aloe Vera capsule daily, and one capsule each of Garden and Orchard essentials. This regimen was doubled for months and recently decreased. She also has been taking Licorice Root Extract, fifteen drops in 10 cc water three times a day for over a year now. It definitely thins down her tracheal secretions so she can cough them up without need for suctioning. I was out of this product once and noticed quite a difference.
We always keep Ultimate Echinacea on hand for Leia and ourselves. With any sniffle, exposure to illness, or sore throat, we take 20 drops in water 1-3 times a day until symptoms are gone. All in all, with Leia's most complicated health conditions, it as taken us a couple of years to come up with just the right combination needed. For her needs, her doctors are aware of our herbal usage. Some agree, some disagree, but they all agree that Leia is in fact a medical miracle. She is our angel of light and teacher of love. Recently Xomed, a medical company that makes new products for surgical procedures, did a layout and testimonial on Leia. She was the first to create this product taking many risks, however, because of her courage to try something new, and our prayers answered to try this, she is the pioneer who has saved many other people's lives with the same type of disease. -Susan Lebovitz