Tia McCarthy was born with a condition called oesophageal atresia, diagnosed in one out of 3000 births. In this condition the patient cannot eat due to a huge gap between her oesophagus throat and stomach. The condition is curable, usually by surgical intervention and Tia’s operation was conducted successfully when she was barely three months but she still refused to eat. She went without eating for a decade and her condition became news. Her mother fears that Tia’s condition is more of a psychological problem and she might have developed fear of eating. She was born premature weighing only 2lbs. In her initial years Tia stopped breathing a lot of times which according to her mother might have caused damage to her brain. Her overall development has also been slow and she still has problems understanding a lot of basic concepts. She is still dependent on her mother for a lot of things. She suffers from multiple disabilities like autism tendencies and perception disorder. For almost a decade she was being fed through a tube. Her stomach and oesophagus were not connected and the doctors had to move her stomach into her chest. Despite of the successful miraculous operation Tia remained dependent on the tube for a decade.
Tia’s mother even took her to a special clinic in Austria where she was kept starved for three weeks to cure her. This also could not help Tia but she started drinking normally. It was when she went for a trip to Spain that she first ate yoghurt. She gradually started liking foods such as ice cream, mousse, pudding and custard. However these could not give her all essential nutrients so her mother still kept feeding the missing nutrients through the drip. A few more years later Tia began eating different solid things. She finally got the tube removed on Christmas in 2012. Now she eats almost everything, like three course meals and expensive foods such as salmon, scallops and seabass. Even though she can still not chew properly she doesn’t let it interfere with eating what she wants to. To bring her to eating like a normal person Tia’s mother tried a lot of strategies. She once did not feed her for three nights but Tia never got grouchy and didn’t even notice that her drip is missing. Her mother also tried the reverse psychology but it didn’t work.
Now Tia sees a psychologist and it has helped her eat normally. Her doctors claim that they have never seen a case like this before and believed that it is also possible because of Tia not being habitual to eating since she was a baby. Tia didn’t go through the normal process of sucking, feeding and feeling hunger like other children. Even looking at her younger brother being fed could not make her feel hungry or eat anything. Even though she loved feeding her little brother she never wanted to eat. Now Tia can eat a lot of things and calls herself a foodie. Her mother is happy that the family can finally eat together and have dinners outside. Tia’s mother is also trying to raise money for a long term treatment in America.