Gannon Update

I have news about Gannon…Happily, it’s good news!!

At the end of last week, Gannon was at my house and asked for a cracker.  He’s allowed to try to eat whatever he wants to.  He can still swallow (if his swallower works) even though he has the tube.

Up to this point, he had been trying things here and there but, it wasn’t always successful.  It often ended up with him almost choking and spitting things out in the toilet.  It was no fun.  But, he was asking and we wanted to have him keep trying so I gave him a cracker and put Kalissa on alert in case he started choking.  Gannon walked off and about 10 minutes later, he came out to the kitchen and said he ate the cracker.  WHAT??  I didn’t believe it.  I figured one of the dogs ate it but they didn’t.  The dogs were in their kennels.

I asked him is he wanted another cracker and he said yes.  He ended up eating about five crackers that day.  I was so happy.

The next day he was over and asked for one of the cookies I was baking and….he ate it!!


He asked for Cheetos and …he ate them too.  He is so proud of himself when he can do it.  Slowly our guy is coming back to us.  He was so depressed, his whole body read depression.  It was so sad to see.  He carried the bag around the house…and I let him.  It’s totally against normal house rules but I DIDN’T CARE!!  If he’ll eat, he can do anything he wants.


Kalissa was able to get a pump so when he does get a feeding through his tube, it’s more manageable.  It only takes about 90 minutes at the most.

Gannon HATES the feedings.  Really hates them.  He now fusses and throws a fit to try to not have to do it.  Of course, he has to be fed if he needs it but, we’re also using it as a way to encourage him to try to eat.

For the most part, he’s eating enough to get down to one feeding a day, and then Kalissa gives him two cans when she hooks him up and makes the pump go a little longer.


The biggest hurdle right now was getting liquids into him.  Yesterday I finally got him to successfully drink a juice box.  In fact, he drank TWO!!  He has tried water from a cup but that doesn’t work.  He’ll immediately be at the toilet spitting up.  Small sips have been the trick.


Here he is posing with his empty juice box.  He was so proud of himself.


He is going to speech therapy as they work with how a person’s mouth works and tongue moves to aid in swallowing as well as speech therapy.  That is going great.  He tried a drink of water there yesterday and that didn’t work either.  So for now, we’re working with straws and will continue to try water from a cup.

Yesterday at my house in the morning he ate:
a small kids’ pack of shortbread cookies
10 Ritz crackers
a nutty bar
2 drink boxes

As you can see, the food he’s eating isn’t the healthiest but at this point, we don’t care…the main goal is to get him swallowing, and happily that’s happening.

I did try scrambled eggs.  That was full-out no.  He tried them and ended up at the toilet.  He tried yogurt and that went okay.  Kalissa has tried applesauce and that has gone okay too.

I asked him if I made noodles if he thought that might work.  He said yes…so the next time he’s here I am making something with noodles in the hope that it works.

We keep trying.  Right now our next goal is to try to get some kind of protein into him.  So far it’s mostly junkie carb-filled foods.  That’s all okay, but if we want to get the tube out, there have to be some foods with more substance to them.

Many thanks to my friend Barb for bringing cupcakes with wonderful frosting.  They tempted Gannon and he ate the frosting.  Thanks to the wonderful blog reader who sent Gannon a teddy bear.  He’s not been a stuffed animal kid but he has totally latched onto the teddy bear.  It surprised both Kalissa and me.

Thanks also to the many people who have sent gifts of money to help their family.  Right now Gannon has speech three times a week so gas adds up.  Then in January, he has a host of appointments in Iowa City again.  We’re not in the clear but you can see from the pictures, we’re close to getting over the hump.  I couldn’t be happier that he is so depressed anymore too.  The spark in his eye is coming back and it’s the most precious thing ever.

Seeing Gannon so sick and hurting has been pretty rough on me.  It’s not a secret that I’m really close to him.  We’re not supposed to see our grandchildren struggling as he has.  My heart goes out to all of you who are dealing with sick children.  There is just nothing worse.

I’m so thankful and grateful for all the support our family has had along the way.  I’ve gotten so many notes and messages from people checking in.  I really appreciate it LOTS!  I have my fingers crossed that maybe next week, he can lose his tubie.  I might be a little optimistic but each day we are getting a little closer and a little closer.  Thanks for hanging here with us and we work our way through this…

50 thoughts on “Gannon Update”

  1. I’m so happy for you all, and for Gannon too! You can see in the photos how proud of himself he is! Thank goodness he’s turned a corner, it must be such a relief. He’s such a strong little warrior.

  2. Tout doucement Gannon progresse, je suis si heureuse pour lui et pour vous tous ! Encore quelques efforts et un peu de temps et ce ne sera plus qu’un mauvais souvenir.

  3. Such a blessing for precious Gannon to be getting over the hurdles! He truly is one brave little man!
    Continued prayers for a full recovery.
    Love and prayers

  4. I had checked Kalissa‘a blog when I hadn’t heard about Gannon for a few days. This news is better and better. Continue to pray. So glad that you are documenting his progress- he looks happier every time he has his picture taken!

  5. This is so Wonderful!! Gannon looks so happy next to Anders!! This is exciting to hear that Gannon is able to eat more solid foods now. This has been such a hard, scary time for him especially. Congratulations to all of you!

  6. This is such good news. There is a wide selection of sports food bars, gels, etc and many are loaded with protein to keep an athlete fueled. They aren’t loaded with vegetables, but it might be a way to get him nibbling on protein until he’s ready to eat more things. Just a thought. Prayers continue for your little companion.

  7. Praise God for how Gannon is progressing. He looks like the spark is back in him and he is not so defeated. My 4 yr. old grandson had eye surgery last Friday and I traveled to watch the 1 yr. old. It was so hard to see him suffer such eye pain and head pain afterwards. Thankfully, he is doing better and his eyesight is focused. How wonderful all those readers stepped up to help!

  8. Wonderful news about Gannon. He looks happy in his photos. May he continue to improve. Getting the tube out would be the best Christmas present for you all.

  9. Thanks for the update. Many of us remember when he was born and all the various medical issues he has gone through since then. He is a trooper and I’m so happy he is eating. He’s just a little sweetie to me.

  10. Finally some progress. So good to see him smiling again. Love the pictures. Hopefully soon, enough progress is made so tube can be removed.

  11. Anna from Germany

    Dear Jo,
    I’m a longtime reader, first time commenter.
    So happy that Gannon is feeling better!
    I have a daughter who is similar in age, who never needed a tube but who has been struggling to eat enough healthy, protein rich food.
    What helped us was fullfat Greek yogurt, peanut butter and homemade loaded smoothies and bars. Would be happy to share recipes.

  12. So glad Gannon is doing better! We feel so helpless when it’s our children and grandchildren. Keep up the good work Gannon!!

  13. I think I may be able to help with the drinking water thing. I had a total gastrectomy 14 years ago due to cancer and I still have difficulty drinking water. It has to do with the density or surface tension. My surgeon told me several patients have told him the same thing. To change it, add something to it like a little sugar or juice, warm it up, make a weak tea (fruit flavored kind), make the flavored waters with fruit or vegetables cut up in it. Sounds silly or crazy but it helps. I also have trouble absorbing enough protein so I use Vital Proteins Collagen to get extra. It is a powder that you mix into food and it disappears (like magic!) when it dissolves. There is unflavored, chocolate and strawberry. I mix it with V8, beef or chicken broth, or soup, anything liquid, but you can really add it to anything. The unflavored does actually have a bit of a meaty taste to me, so I mix it with things that have a definite taste and I can’t taste it. It is not grainy at all.

    I feel so bad for Gannon having that NG tube, I hated mine. I had a J Tube for about 4 months after my gastrectomy while I learned how to eat without a stomach. Sometimes feedings made my intestines cramp and made me nauseous. Hope he gets back to eating quickly so he can get rid of his tube. He always looks like such a happy little fellow.

    1. Susan the Farm Quilter

      Claudia, thanks for explaining why Gannon hates his feedings so much!! I’ve only dealt with a little girl with a permanent G-tube (she had CP) and she didn’t have problems with feedings, so I was confused! Your recommendations are also great for helping him be able to drink water and the protein powder!!
      Such great news that Gannon is able to eat some things and he does look so much happier now!!

  14. Gannon looks so pleased. I am sure you all are happy when he manages to swallow food. Prayers are going up, for a continuing recovery for him.

  15. Poor Gannon. I hope he gets to eating more and more things. Have you tried popsicles and ice cream bars? It’s great that yogurt worked. Wonderful family support Jo. Praying the little kiddo gets back to his Gannon self!

  16. This is wonderful news! I am so happy to see the little guy feeling better! My youngest is his age and it breaks my heart to think of one so young struggling like he has. He’s in my prayers every day ( as are you and Kayla). Praying for the removal of his tube for Christmas!

  17. Margaret in North Texas

    So happy to hear of Gannon’s progress. May progress go forward for the whole family! Praying for each of you, and hoping for a wonderful Christmas for everyone.

  18. Such great news!!! I know what you mean about seeing your Grandchildren seriously ill. My now 17 year old Grandson has juvenile polyps issues. When he was 10 or so, he had his colon removed and numerous feet of his intestines. He had suffered for a long time before that came about, and the operation was quite the ordeal. However, he is now 17, a senior in high school. He plays lacrosse & golf. He still has issues with going to the bathroom frequently, but it hasn’t stopped him from enjoying his life and endeavors. It is such a joy to see him succeeding in life and being happy doing it! Hugs,

  19. Judith A Gebhardt

    One suggestion for protein – boil a chicken in the holy trinity (celetry, onions and another item that was cooked down); make the broth very concentrated (you can always dilute it) in order to maximize the chix protein. Strain everything until he gets to a point where he can eat small morsels; add some noodles (maybe spaghetti that is broken into small pieces). And, when he gets to a point where he’ll take solids add carrots (cook them to super mushy!) Prayers your way. j

  20. Jo, this is great news! I am hoping this means Gannon has passed a turning point and will continue to get better every day. Thanks so much for letting us all know!

  21. That pic of Gannon with the cookie speaks volumes! I’m still praying for him several times a day…we all need to see that little guy without the tube and happy again! Thanks for the update!

  22. What a wonderful Christmas present it would be if Gannon can toss away that tube!
    Great to hear of his progress, all h=the grandies will be delighted for him.
    Jo, Best of Christmas wishes to you and your families, and the furries too.
    Hope your weather keeps from being too troublesome, and fun is had by all.
    Cheers for 2023 from New Zealand.
    Dot

  23. Carmen Montmarquet

    So very happy he is doing better and starting to want to eat, that’s the key! And you are so right, let him eat whatever he would like! The more he tries and succeeds the sooner he will be off the tube! It looks like it will be a very Merry Christmas for sure! Thanks for the update!

  24. Jo, So glad to see Gannon making progress. When one of our little ones is hurting we all wish it were us instead. In the meantime, after the first of the year I’ve packed a box with 5 quilt tops and some yardage. Do I send it to you or one of your helpers? Looking forward to donating. Everyone donates around Christmas, but donations drop off the first of the year. Thank you for all that you do.

  25. Susanne Scheurwater

    So glad to read the good news about that sweet Gannon. Maybe a Greek yogurt that has much more protein than regular yogurt. They come in lots of flavors so I’m sure there is one he would like. Even a smoothie with protein powder would help! Keep us all posted. I must have missed the one about him being released from hospital. So glad for him!

  26. Glad to hear there is quite a bit of progress for Gannon – it all sounds promising and we will all be praying for a complete recovery!!! (And yes, whatever he will eat is okay – the rest will come!)

  27. Seeing a smile on that beautiful little face is a wonderful thing to behold. Thanks so much for the update. I have been looking for good news about him every day. It touches my heart that you have such a close bond with him. You have such a wonderful family and they are so lucky to have you to be there for them – and they for you. I hope Christmas is a great one for you and all your loved ones.

  28. I’m so happy to see Gannon doing so much better, with a smile on his face instead of looking so sad & miserable. He’s proved to be a pretty tough little kid with all the medical issues he’s been through in his three years.

  29. Praise the Lord Gannon is doing so much better. Hopefully, it will be a good Christmas for him & your whole family. Merry Christmas!!

  30. Gayle in Tennessee

    So happy that Gannon is starting to swallow again. I pray he will be able to get rid of the feeding tube very soon. God bless him and his family.

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