The seed for GMI was planted when our founder, Nikki Gordon Skovby, was traveling around the world with her family. Although she was a long physical distance from her Harvard Medical School classmates, fortunately, they were just a phone call away when her then two year old son, Christian, became sick. While living in South Africa and Denmark Christian saw several pediatricians who kept diagnosing his wheezing and coughing episodes as asthma, but after four months without adequate response to standard asthma treatments, something didn’t feel right. Christian’s “asthma” began to feel like something else. Nikki called an old classmate from Harvard, then a pediatric attending at Yale and discussed the case, reviewed Christian’s symptoms and asked for help generating a differential diagnosis.
During one fateful conversation the diagnosis of foreign body was suggested, the tests were ordered, and it became clear that Christian’s “asthma” was really a chicken bone obstructing the right lower lobe of his lung. One plane ride and an Atlantic ocean away, Christian’s chicken bone was removed at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital by a renowned specialist.