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Alec, injured during hockey practice, was treated for laryngotracheal trauma at the Center for Pediatric Airway Disorders at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Eric Nicolai: When Alec turned 14, he tried out for his first travel hockey team.
Alec Nicolai: Just like a normal practice, went out on the ice and we were warming up.
Eric Nicolai: Like, maybe I was gone 10 minutes from dropping him off and I got a phone call, and a women over the phone said that Alec was struck by a puck.
Alec Nicolai: I was skating by the net and one of my teammates took a slap shot, and course it went wide and just hit me in the throat.
Eric Nicolai: We met Dr. Jacobs and when he came in he explained to us what was wrong, and what his plan was, and he felt very confident. He really put us at ease that they were going to be able to take care of him, take care of the problem.
Dr. Jacobs: There's a wide range of children that we care for in the airway in the Pediatric Airway Program. And this ranges from babies who are just born to teenagers who may be 17 or 18.
Eric Nicolai: One of the beauties of our program is that we don't stop at a certain age. We can still follow with a lot of these kids, and we're comfortable with all of them.
Unknown: So we were all anticipating when they pulled the tube out, if – what Alec's voice was going to be like.
Alec Nicolai: I think my voice was deep before it happened, but then after, it just seemed like more raspier, maybe a little bit deeper.
Eric Nicolai: So when they finally took the tube out and he got to speak a little bit, he had a voice and that was a big relief.
Related Centers and Programs:
Center for Pediatric Airway Disorders