Family grateful New Jersey toddler born premature will eat Thanksgiving food for first time

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A family from New Jersey is particularly thankful this Thanksgiving now that their young son will be able to sit at the table and eat with them for the first time.

Ian Sanchez, now 2, was born at 25 weeks and weighed less than 2 pounds. His airways were underdeveloped so he needed a breathing tube and a trach to eat -- which meant he couldn't eat solid foods.

Thanks to the doctors at Mount Sinai who performed airway surgery, he can now breathe and eat on his own.

Doctors even permanently removed his trach last week so he can now eat regularly -- just in time for the holiday.

"It's definitely been a struggle and this is the first time we're all going to spend it together," Ian's father Jack Sanchez said. "With no issues and to not actually have to worry about his condition, I am definitely thankful for that."

The 2-year-old also couldn't speak, so he is now undergoing speech therapy as well.

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