A 7-year-old boy finally eats normally due to a unique treatment

Jeremy Lefebvre, 7 years old, can’t eat without medical help. But the life of this young patient of the Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) is about to change, thanks to a treatment used for the first time in children in Quebec.

Born prematurely, the young boy from Saint-Philippe was transferred from the Royal Victoria Hospital to the MCH when he was 8 days old. Diagnosis: necrotizing enterocolitis, caused by bacteria that affect the intestines’ tissue and bring it to deteriorate. Because of that, long parts of his intestines had to be removed.

Since then, Jeremy had been fed by total parenteral nutrition (TPN) administered by central line, and received gavages, as well as formula given directly in his stomach. He was only able to go back home at 5 months, but is still followed at the MCH as an outpatient.

As Jeremy grew, so did his intestines, and he was able to absorb more nutriments. His gastrostomy tube was removed, and he didn’t need gavages anymore, but continued to receive TPN.

An innovative solution

Even if Jeremy ate all his meals by mouth, the absorption of nutriments was still not optimal. That’s when Jeremy’s physician, Dr. Ana Sant’Anna, and his care team at MCH had the idea of giving him Revestive, a medication usually administered to adults after a surgical resection of the intestines. Jeremy would be the first child in Quebec to receive it. The little boy has been given Revestive by daily injections for two months now. It helps the intestines’ villi to absorb better the nutriments of the food he eats by mouth. Jeremy will need this treatment for the rest of his life.

TPN has now ceased completely. Jeremy could finally have the central line that followed him all these years removed.

“All Jeremy wanted was to go to the water play park and the pool this summer, like other children. His dream finally became reality,” mentions Nadine Allard, his clinical nurse.