Teenager Finds New Lease On Life After Pacer Implant

Saturday, May 28th 2022, 8:38 pm


A tragic boating incident gave an Oklahoma family answers they've been searching for. The family said the Bethany Children's Health Center helped them.

Laney Carter's mom Gail Workman said she knew her daughter was sick, but she didn't know how sick until she fell while working on their family boat.

“She decided to get out of the boat. I guess her foot got stuck on something in the boat and when she come out of the boat she hit the trailer,” Workman said.

For days, Laney had painful headaches and she was checked into a hospital.

“She had her stroke. She flatlined on us once and it was like your whole world comes tumbling down. You're trying to figure out what's the next move, what's going to happen,” Workman said.

Workman said Laney had a Chiari malformation and the boating accident triggered it. After receiving care in Texas, the family chose to go to the Bethany Children's Health Center.

“When we admitted her she was on a ventilator and wasn't able to move much, but she was cognitively normal and was talking to us,” Tammy McMichael said.

McMichael said she wanted Laney to have experience life without the ventilator. She introduced a device to give Laney some hope.

“The diaphragm pacer is a device that is fitted onto the phrenic nerve and the phrenic nerve comes down on both sides and it innervates the diaphragm, which is one of the breathing muscles that helps us breathe,” McMichael said.

“I was kind of nervous about it because I hate getting surgeries, but my mom was like 'we want you to get better',” Laney Carter said.

Laney is the first pediatric patient in Oklahoma to receive a phrenic nerve pacer implant. She's been home for a couple of months and says she can tell she's improving.

“I can breathe on my own without the vent and I eat better, I can talk better,” Carter said.

Laney said she is here today because of her family and the nurses.