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Can You Fix Blue Babies?

“He was about two weeks old the first time he stopped breathing. We gave him mouth to mouth, got him to the hospital, and the doctors didn’t know what was going on— his viral panels came back negative. No diagnosis.”

That was the first time Kase Chaney turned blue. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the last. Over the next few months, the otherwise healthy, happy baby would stop breathing and turn blue, then recover. He ended up at UK HealthCare’s Kentucky Children’s Hospital for more than a week, where he was carefully monitored but remained undiagnosed until a chance encounter changed the course of his life.

Pediatric pulmonologist Dr. Krishna Pancham entered Kase’s room by mistake. As he was leaving, Kase’s mother asked a question that made him stop in his tracks: “Can you fix blue babies?”

Dr. Pancham immediately took on the mysterious case. “He adopted us,” said Hannah Chaney, Kase’s mother. “From that point on, things began to change.”

Three months later, Kase was diagnosed with a condition called Laryngotracheobronchomalacia with subglottic stenosis, which caused his airway to collapse from his voice box to his lungs. While most infants with the condition grow out of it and don’t require treatment, Kase was a severe exception, requiring surgery, a tracheostomy and a ventilator to keep his airways open. He ended up staying at KCH for 98 days, undergoing dozens of procedures. Through every test, surgery and unknown, his parents’ deep faith stayed strong.

“The question wasn’t ‘How many times did Kase try to die today?’ but rather ‘How many times did Kase defy that?’” said Hannah. “While at KCH, we have been blessed with excellent nurses and wonderful doctors, but above all we are very thankful to God each day for life with Kase.”

Despite early warnings that he might not live past six months, Kase amazed his family and his care team with his resilience. He was the youngest child at UK to have his airway reconstructed, years earlier than it was thought possible for a child his age. His tracheal tube was removed a full eight years ahead of schedule. Today, he’s a happy, growing toddler who’s walking, talking and attending preschool.

“It’s something we take peace in,” said Kase’s dad, Craig. “Just listening to him breathe.”

The care Kase received was made possible in part by philanthropic support to UK HealthCare’s Kentucky Children’s Hospital. If you’d like to invest in the future of children like Kase, consider making a gift to Children’s Miracle Network. Your dollars help save our Commonwealth’s most vulnerable little ones. Visit to give to Kentucky Children’s Hospital.