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Adler's Journey With TEF

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Adler Graham Gano was born on January 6th, 2018 weighing 7 lbs 3 oz. and 21 inches long. Shortly after his arrival he was diagnosed with a rare birth defect known as Tracheal Esophageal Fistula (TEF). A birth defect so rare that only 1 out of 4 thousand babies in the United States are born with it. In short, Adler was born without a portion of his esophagus (the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach). 

Adler was immediately transported to St. Vincent's Women's Health NICU where he would require surgery and other testing. Half of all people born with TEF will also have other birth defects. Adler was no exception. He was diagnosed with a bicuspid valve which will require open heart surgery later on in life. Thankfully, this was the only other birth defect associated with Adler's diagnoses of TEF. 

Adler's first surgery to repair his esophagus was successful. His next hurdle is gaining enough strength to come off the ventilator for an extended period of time. Once this is accomplished he will start to work on swallowing and feeding. Adler continues to heal but still has a long journey ahead before he is ready to come home.

Patrick, Emily and Austin (2yrs) have been doing everything they can to not only be close to Adler in the NICU but also stay together as a family. Given that the hospital is an hour from their home, and road conditions are not always pleasant in the dead of winter, it has been very difficult to find lodging, food and normalcy. 

After several people have asked me how they can help, this page was created. If you feel led and are able to, please consider donating to help lessen the financial burden on Patrick and Emily. If you are unable to donate at this time then please consider praying for Adler and his family. Thank you!!!!


  • Sarah Smith
    • $25 
    • 6 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Liz Baker
Danville, IN
Emily Gano

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