A Honduran boy whose been getting treatment at an Iowa hospital has been cleared to return home.An Iowan who makes yearly trips bringing clothing and food to refugees in Honduras found the boy, named Henry, and brought him to Des Moines. Doctor George Noble handled his medical care at Mercy Hospital. The boy swallowed lye about a year and-a-half ago and burned his esophagus, scarring and completely closing off the tube. The young boy couldn’t eat and had to be fed through a tube in his stomach. After operations to reconnect the esophagus, and repeated procedures to counteract scar tissue that tightened it, the child had a final checkup today. He looks like a happy, healthy, almost-four-year-old boy except for a scar in his neck where the operation was done. Doctor Noble says only minimal care will be needed now to ensure the boy keeps his ability to eat solid food. Now that he has an open esophagus, he can eat normally…though every few weeks it starts to tighten up and he has trouble eating some foods. Doctor Noble says it took some extra time to ensure the boy can get followup care when he returns to his home in Honduras. He’s talked to the boy’s original doctor in Honduras, who says he can be cared for there and the Iowa hospital’s sending the “dilators” used for the boy’s treatment. Henry’s been staying in Iowa since March with his mother, who speaks no English. An interpreter says the woman wants to tell how grateful she is to the doctor and the hospital, and all the people who’ve helped watch the food Henry eats and given them a place to stay. Henry and his mother will leave from Kansas City next Tuesday on their final return home to Honduras.
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