When Henry Genung was 4 months old, doctors cut a hole in his windpipe and inserted a tube to help him breathe. Born with a rare genetic mutation that blocks his upper airway, Henry, now 18 months old, will need the tube for a few more years.
Henry hasn’t had a new rubber tracheostomy tube in three months, although doctors recommend replacing them weekly to reduce the risk of infection. Instead, Henry’s parents soaked his used tubes in hydrogen peroxide and boiled them for five minutes. Their medical supplier and doctor’s office told them they did not know how soon new supplies would be available.