Celiac Disease: Matteo and Giuliano’s Story
Seven year old Matteo was admitted to Humber in April 2018 with dehydration due to the flu.
“Dr. Hart happened to be on call and was doing rounds,” remembers Matteo’s mother Vanessa.
They began discussing Matteo’s symptoms as well as his overall heath. While Matteo was generally healthy, Paediatric Gastroenterologist Dr. Lara Hart found it noteworthy that he was having frequent bowel movements each day. She suggested doing some bloodwork to rule out Celiac Disease.
“I didn’t think much would come from the testing,” says Vanessa. “Matteo was largely asymptomatic.”
When they saw Dr. Hart a few weeks later for follow up, they were shocked to learn that Matteo had ten times the normal level for a marker of Celiac Disease.
After an endoscopy with Dr. Hart’s colleague Dr. Liquornik, Matteo was officially diagnosed with Celiac Disease in July 2018.
“I was afraid for what that meant for him, but I was relieved we got a diagnosis while he was still young,” says Vanessa. “The diagnosis also meant that our older son Giuliano would also need to be screened for the disease.”
Giuliano was ten and incredibly apprehensive about having an endoscopy done, but Dr. Hart was warm and honest about what was involved (she even gave Giuliano pictures from the procedure!). Like his brother, he was diagnosed with Celiac Disease after his endoscopy in the fall of 2019.
Both boys have grown since their diagnosis when they started avoiding gluten. Vanessa has noticed that their immune systems seem stronger and that they both have more energy – especially Matteo.
“Dr. Hart’s assessment changed the trajectory of both our sons’ health,” says Vanessa. “I’m not sure how you thank someone for saving your children from future illness and all the potential complications of undiagnosed Celiac Disease. I am so grateful.”
Dr. Hart will continue to monitor the boys’ progress for years to come as part of the Paediatric GI Program she developed at Humber River Hospital.
“I am always amazed by how resilient my young patients are, even when they get difficult news,” says Dr. Hart. “I love that I can help treat their condition and make them feel better.”
“There is no limit to what we would do for our children,” says Vanessa. “Dr. Hart has shown us the same commitment to our family and I will be forever grateful for her consideration, expertise, and attention to detail.”