LifeScape provides hope through new intensive feeding program

Published: May. 6, 2022 at 8:13 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The work that’s done on a daily basis at LifeScape is amazing.

Tonight, a true success story about a little Yankton boy who had kind of a big problem.

That’s now in the past thanks to the help he received at LifeScape.

Landon Kerr is 4 years old. He is precocious and curious and from birth, he has had a problem doing something most of us don’t even really think about.

“Landon came in and he was receiving 100% of his nutrition needs through his G tube. So the goal was to get him to eat orally and meet all of his nutrition needs orally.”. Bailey Larson is a dietician at LifeScape. She says Landon had a problem with chewing and swallowing food. to such a degree that for a lot of years, Landon could only get his food through a tube.

“He was strictly tube fed. he had very limited oral intake.” Landon’s dad, Chris, tried to find someone who could do more than treat Landon’s condition...but could possibly help him get past it.

And the search for help brought him to LifeScape.

“We have been running an intensive feeding program for a couple of years now and just really ramping it up.” Heather Hewitt is a therapy lead at LifeScape and says that intensive feeding program combines several disciplines; speech therapy, occupational therapy and in Landon’s case it involved conditioning the intricate muscles in his mouth and throat.

“His ability to chew things up and swallow them has increased quite a bit.”, said Chris Kerr.

Increased to a point where, after a recent four-week course of therapy, Landon’s progress is nothing short of astounding.

“He came in not eating very much orally and now is leaving a ton of food orally and not being reliant on his tube feedings.”, said Bailey Larson.

Landon has gone from being totally dependent on a feeding tube to now not needing one at all.

“We are so proud of how he’s reduced his tube feedings completely and he’s eating a variety of foods...good volume...he’s doing great.”, said Heather Hewitt.

And Landon’s father, Chris, says he is proud of the progress his son has been able to make and thankful to LifeScape for having this kind of program in the first place. “They’re patient, they’re understanding, they have new techniques and different ways of going about things with Landon that really help him progress further than I ever thought he would be able to.”

Landon will continue with his therapy at LifeScape for a while so he doesn’t slide backward on his progress.

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