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Toddler's feeding tube finally removed after 27 months

Posted at 2:30 PM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 16:30:47-04

An Arizona family is celebrating a major milestone.

Baby Henley was born with a congenital heart defect or a hole in her heart. Weighing in at only 4 pounds and 7 ounces, there was a lot of concern about her health because she just would not eat.

"Because of the hole in her heart, she just could not eat, it was too difficult for her, so she struggled a lot to gain weight," said Megan Beebe, Henley's mother.

So, from the age of 5 months old, Henley has relied on a feeding tube to get all of her nutrition.

"At one point, it was giving her 100% of her nutrition. We would put all of her formula, breast milk through the feeding tube," said Beebe.

In her two years since she was born, Henley has had hundreds of doctor's appointments and five surgeries. She has also been working with a feeding therapist based out of the United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona. Henley does not have cerebral palsy, but her mother tells KNXV they really liked the specialized therapist they have been working with, so they have stuck with the organization.

"We just had to keep working our way up, until one day she ate an entire Cheeto Puff all by herself," said Beebe.

That one Cheeto Puff was a big milestone for Henley.

"It took her about 10 full minutes to eat one Cheeto Puff but she ate the whole Cheeto Puff all by herself, did not throw up," said Beebe, talking about the relief they felt.

They were finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel of Henley's tough road to being able to eat without the aid of a feeding tube.

After 27 months, Henley's feeding tube was finally removed. It was a big moment for Beebe. She tells KNXV she sometimes could not help but feel like a failure as a mother.

"Our number one job is to feed her and keep her alive, and we couldn't do that," said Beebe.

"The day we finally got to take her feeding tube out, it was like, it was just a miracle. We never thought that day was going to come," she added.

This story was originally published by Sonu Wasu at KNXV.