After traveling more than 7,000 miles, Mohammad arrived at Cincinnati Children’s for his first appointment in July 2011.  The 4-year-old was significantly underweight and unable to eat due to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), complicated by an esophageal stricture.

Mohammad, 4, with Dr. Ajay Kaul of Cincinnati Children’s. Although he was hungry and craved solid foods, it was far too painful for him to swallow solids. Mohammad was surviving on a diet of liquids and yogurt. His medical condition was taking an emotional toll, as well: He couldn’t bear to watch others, especially children his age, eat. His mother would wait until he was soundly sleeping to prepare meals so it would not upset him.

Mohammad’s family was desperate to find a way for him to eat.

After many failed attempts in hospitals around the world, their search for help led them to Cincinnati Children’s. From the moment his mother and brother arrived, they were reassured by the collaborative approach to Mohammad’s care.     

Specialists in pediatric gastroenterology, nutrition and allergy worked as an integrated team and proposed a holistic plan of care that included diverse therapies as well as surgery.

Throughout their stay, Mohammad’s family was confident that he was receiving the best care possible. Having been to many other hospitals that lacked a pediatric focus, they were impressed with the excellent level of service, and they found the care providers very attentive to their needs.

Mohammad’s mother is especially thankful to Ajay Kaul, MD, gastroenterologist, and Greg Tiao, MD, surgeon, for their incredible efforts. “No matter how busy they were, they always took the time to listen to everything I had to say and answer all of my questions,” she says.

As international patients, the family certainly faced some challenges, including the language barrier, but thanks to assistance from the Global Health Center staff and a supportive and resourceful environment for international patient families, the issues were minimal.   

Today, Mohammad is at a healthy weight. He and his family look forward to returning home to Kuwait.  On a recent afternoon, while his mother and brother were busy planning for their trip home, Mohammad could be heard asking for his favorite food − pizza.

If you know a patient or family member you would like to refer to Cincinnati Children’s, contact us at +1-513-636-3100 or