‘He’s Able to Be a Kid and Be Free’: DeAngelo Thrives After Complex Surgeries and Care at Seattle Children’s
9-year-old DeAngelo “DJ” has his dreams for the future all planned out.
“DJ tells everyone that he wants to become a pediatric surgeon or a pediatric gastroenterologist one day,” explained Angela McCulloch.
“He says that he plans to go to school at the University of Washington and work at Seattle Children’s to help kids like they helped him.”
Angela is DJ’s mom, but also his biggest advocate.
DJ was born prematurely in Tacoma, Wash., at 31 weeks with a rare condition called esophageal atresia (EA), in which the esophagus does not form properly before birth, and tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF), an abnormal connection between the windpipe and esophagus.
A baby with EA cannot feed by mouth because there is no way for food and liquid to travel from their mouth to their stomach.