VIRGINIA

Young boy's illness overlooked by doctors

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As one year old Rayan Lajnef struggled for air, his windpipe shrinking more every day, his parents struggled to get the doctor to listen to them.

Rayan Lajnef (photo: WJLA)

“I mean, basically we were ready for him to die,” said Raouf Lajnef, the young boy’s father.

One day Rayan suddenly started coughing, then wheezing. Fearing he had swallowed something, his parents rushed him to a nearby clinic in Woodbridge.

“She said it looks like he’s catching a cold,” said Hanene Lajnef, Rayan’s mother.

“Because she didn’t see anything on the x-ray,” she added.

Hanene and Raouf Lajnef and their baby were sent home with some cold medicine. Over the next four weeks, the Lajnef’s went back to the doctor again and again and were told it might be allergies or asthma.

“We couldn’t sleep because we are scared he’s going to stop breathing,” Hanene said.

“He lost like four pounds—not eating, not sleeping,” Raouf said.

Desperate, the Lajnef's looked for a second opinion, which led them to pediatric surgeon, Dr. Stephen Kim, and he looked at the x-ray.

“The right side lung field was much larger, as if air was getting into, but couldn't get out,” Dr. Kim said.

There was something stuck in his airway and Rayan’s parents had been right all along.

“We said ‘YES! We knew it!’ This has been going on for a month,” Raouf said.

“Finally, someone agreed with us,” he added.

After going straight to the hospital, and an operation using a bronchoscope, Dr. Kim emerged from the operating room 15 minutes later.

“He showed me this picture and he said this is what your son had for the past month,” Raouf said.

Deep down in Rayan’s chest, there was a small white object that was blocking the young boy’s airway.

“The wheezing was gone instantly,” Raouf said.

“I mean we were victorious. We were so happy,” Raouf said.

The family was relieved, but also resentful toward that first doctor who had not listened to them.

“Something blocking his airway for a month and tell me it's an allergy? Give me a break, I'm mean this is not right,” Raouf said. 

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