When we were originally told that our son Edward needed a tracheostomy, we wondered how we would ever cope. The idea of our little boy having to breathe through a plastic tube that would be inserted through a hole in his neck seemed so bizarre, so alien to what we had been used to in everyday life until that point. Our first tube changes were done in hospital, with doctors and nurses watching over us to make sure our technique was correct – there is nothing more nerve-racking than having to remove and then insert a tube into your son’s windpipe with an audience!
Now, over two and a half years later, it is just part of everyday life; once a week or so we go through the procedure to remove the old tube and insert a new one. Where we used to have to psyche ourselves up. we now just get on with it as if we were changing a nappy. We do try to force ourselves to follow the checklist that was given to us in hospital to make sure everything stays as safe and as clean as possible. Now the hardest part of the change is keeping Edward still long enough to make sure the tapes are not too loose and not too tight!
We hope and pray that one day we will no longer need to do this and that Edward will be able to breathe normally like any other little boy. For anyone facing the prospect of dealing with a tracheostomy, or for anyone who is just interested, I have posted the following video, in the hope that it will be helpful to someone someday.