Crew was born with a relatively common condition known as Pectus Excavatum, also known as funnel chest. It is more common in boys than girls. In most cases, people with the condition can live a normal life and usually don’t receive much more treatment than physical therapy. In fact, Crew had embraced his condition growing up and was proud of the uniqueness it gave him.
He had a normal childhood and played sports — soccer, baseball, football and golf, to name a few. Kandee said Crew referred to his sunken chest as his “drink holder.”
Crew’s case however began showing such signs of severity that Dr. David Notrica, of Phoenix Children’s Hospital, determined surgery at his young age would be the most prudent avenue to pursue. He was experiencing a drastic loss of endurance during exercise or even while simply at rest. Crew felt tightening and pain in his chest.
“It is considered by insurance companies as a cosmetic procedure, unless there are certain clinical guidelines met,” Kandee said. “In Crew’s case, he had what was referred to as a severe case of pectus in which the sternum was flattening the right ventricle and causing sinus arrhythmia.