Tyler's Story – Juvenile-Onset Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis

Tyler Peterson is a twelve-year old seventh-grader at New Fairfield Middle School. He's an active young man – he wrestles, plays lacrosse, swims, and hangs out with his younger brother, Logan. Another words, if his breathing were in trouble, he would know it.

Tyler first met Dr. Karas back in August of 2012. At that time, his voice was quite raspy, and nobody could figure out what was going on. He had symptoms for five to six months, had met other ENT surgeons, and had even gotten 60 days of speech therapy. But it wasn't until he met Dr. Karas that he and his family had a diagnosis.

“Tyler had a condition named juvenile-onset recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (JO-RRP). It's a disease where he has many small masses growing on his voicebox, above and below his vocal cords. Tyler's case was particularly extensive – he required around 25 surgeries, which even by RRP standards is quite high. Pediatric vocal cord surgery requires meticulous, planned, careful work – any movement by a millimeter or two can cause permanent harm to the vocal cords . Slowly but surely, we were able to get his disease under control,” says Dr. Karas.

“When I first met Dr. Karas, my voice was deep and other kids would make fun of me. Now there's been a huge improvement. My voice is better, and I haven't had any issues with breathing,” says Tyler.

”Dr. Karas would always come in and check in on me after surgery to make sure I was feeling better. He cared a lot about my progress. He was always so nice to us. He talked to me like I was an adult, and didn't keep any secrets from me,” he continues.

Tyler was nervous for the first few surgeries but he slowly got used to his procedures. Recoveries were well tolerated, and were always followed by a milkshake (vanilla, of course).

Tyler has had no growth since December of 2018, and has been checked yearly every year since them. Most importantly – he has been papilloma free since then.

“When I first met Dr. Karas, my voice was deep and other kids would make fun of me. Now there's been a huge improvement. My voice is better, and I haven't had any issues with breathing,” says Tyler.

”Dr. Karas would always come in and check in on me after surgery to make sure I was feeling better. He cared a lot about my progress. He was always so nice to us. He talked to me like I was an adult, and didn't keep any secrets from me,” he continues.

Tyler was nervous for the first few surgeries but he slowly got used to his procedures. Recoveries were well tolerated, and were always followed by a milkshake (vanilla, of course).

Tyler has had no growth since December of 2018, and has been checked yearly every year since them. Most importantly – he has been papilloma free since then.

“It feels like we've known Dr. Karas forever,” says Monica Peterson, Tyler's mom. “I think parents have to go with their gut, and Dr. Karas and his team were incredible. He wanted the best for Tyler. We were in the right hands with Dr. Karas.”