Foster Child Needs A New Esophagus - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

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Foster Child Needs A New Esophagus

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

A very special little boy was adopted today. But that adoption begins what will be a very long and difficult journey for his new family. 

It's the best Christmas gift anyone could ask for: A new member of the family. But for the Word family of Oklahoma City, this is just the first step in giving a little boy a shot at a normal life.

Today it became official. Four-year-old Joey is part of the Word family. The Words had been fostering Joey for most of his life…they're really the only family he knows. But Joey needs help. 

Last year, while visiting his biological mother, he drank a caustic liquid that destroyed his esophagus. Surgery gave him a new esophagus, but there were complications and now he can only get nutrition through a gastric tube. Now Joey needs surgery in Cincinnati, or he may never be able to eat again. 

"Whether we're going to stay on Medicaid or whether we're going to private insurance, I mean at this point we don't know what to do.  But I know Cincinnati is the only place that can help us and we have to figure out a way to get there," said Joey’s mother, Becki Word.

Mrs. Word owns a small business, but hasn't been able to work for months because of all the time Joey spends in the hospital. He has surgery every two weeks to keep the new esophagus from closing up. The surgery in Cincinnati would keep it open permanently.

One of the best things about the adoption is now the Words have full say over Joey's medical care. All they need now is help paying for the surgery in Cincinnati. 

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family get there.

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