Knoxville mom wants to spread awareness about feeding tubes

Knoxville mom wants to spread awareness about children with feeding tubes

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Carlyle Robinson has a feeding tube that was surgically implanted in his abdomen and gets a special formula that slowly drips into the tube leading directly to his stomach. Carlyle Robinson has a feeding tube that was surgically implanted in his abdomen and gets a special formula that slowly drips into the tube leading directly to his stomach.
Carlyle was born with neurological problems which led to difficulties in not just getting the formula down, but keeping it down. Carlyle was born with neurological problems which led to difficulties in not just getting the formula down, but keeping it down.
"I was feeding him through his tube - it's a little extension and a syringe - and we would get those stares kind of like 'What are you doing, why are you doing that, that's not appropriate'," Cassidy Robinson said. "I was feeding him through his tube - it's a little extension and a syringe - and we would get those stares kind of like 'What are you doing, why are you doing that, that's not appropriate'," Cassidy Robinson said.
UT Medical Center dietitian Leah Schumacher says part of the problem is living in a society that revolves around food, so ingesting it in a different way is tough for some to accept. UT Medical Center dietitian Leah Schumacher says part of the problem is living in a society that revolves around food, so ingesting it in a different way is tough for some to accept.

By LORI TUCKER
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Cassidy Robinson of Knoxville called 6 News asking for help in spreading awareness about children who receive nutrition through feeding tubes.

Her 6-month-old son Carlyle has a feeding tube that was surgically implanted in his abdomen and gets a special formula that slowly drips into the tube leading directly to his stomach.

Carlyle was born with neurological problems which led to difficulties in not just getting the formula down, but keeping it down.

Robinson wants her son to lead as normal a life as possible, so she takes him out in public. That's where she told us once feeding time comes, things can get uncomfortable.

"I was feeding him through his tube - it's a little extension and a syringe - and we would get those stares kind of like 'What are you doing, why are you doing that, that's not appropriate'," she said.

According to the Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation, more than 100,000 children are tube fed for a variety of reasons.

"People's eyes need to be opened up to it, because it's a real thing out there," said Robinson.

UT Medical Center dietitian Leah Schumacher says part of the problem is living in a society that revolves around food, so ingesting it in a different way is tough for some to accept.

"I find it sad that really with a baby, that it's okay to give that baby formula in a bottle as long as it sucks it down, but that mom can't give that baby formula and skip the mouth and go directly to the stomach, when all you're missing is a few inches of esophagus," Schumacher said. "It's the same thing. It's very, very sad."

Some children have to be on feeding tubes long-term, which can affect their ability to swallow correctly. Carlyle is up to eating baby food by spoon twice a day and doing well. He still can't tolerate liquids through anything but a tube.


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