Layne Clark's Story- Changing What's Possible In Pediatric Surgery

I didn't know if I was alright or if there was something wrong with me and the doctors not knowing for a long time. It was creepy and nerve wracking because it scared me.

What was happening was food was getting stuck in her throat before she could ever digest it. It was just stacking up in her esophagus.

My husband and I were doing research. He said it's achalasia, you're going to have surgery- a heller myotomy. And I know they do this in Cleveland Clinic. I'm thinking, wow, that's Ohio.

We found that there was a doctor that did this procedure. He used the robotics. He’s world renowned. Even though the procedure isn't done a lot, it's done with robotic surgery, so you have to have someone who is an expert in surgery. Turned out it's Dr. Hebra. He's the Chief of Surgery and Chief of Pediatrics. That's a 3.5 hour drive vs. a plane trip.


In this day in age there is the opportunity with minimally invasive technology. The advantage of applying the robotic technology, you can see in a better way still using minimally invasive approach. You can fix that problem with the esophagus using the robotic technology.

They have this place here called the atrium. It's the best playroom you've ever seen. She was able to check out movies and board games.

It's comforting. They have the lounge and x-box, wii and stuff.

It's just made her life so much better since she's had this surgery done.

It's normal now because I don't think about it and have people look at my face because it has turned red.

What MUSC can offer today with their Children's Hospital is unique. We're at the same level and we have the same type of technology that these hospitals have, but it's the team that's puts it all together and makes it possible.

I was very fortunate to find a place this close that could do this amazing thing.