New center supports patients with unique nutritional needs

WESTON, Fla – We all know that nutrition is a critical part of health and development, but getting the right nutrients to stay healthy can be difficult for people with a variety of underlying conditions.

Since the day she was born, Lynn Wolfson has struggled with a genetic condition called Hirschsprung’s disease.

“Hirshsprung’s disease is when the ganglion cells or the nerve cells don’t develop in the digestive tract so therefore there’s a lack of motility throughout the digestive tract,” Wolfson said.

While it hasn’t stopped her from living her life, the condition has often left her doubled over in pain from constipation and unable to eat.

“My ribs used to show because I was so thin,” Wolfson said.

Because her body is unable to absorb nutrients from food, Wolfson survives intravenously on a special feeding’ mixture that she carries with her in a backpack.

Wolfson also gets vital support and guidance from Dr. Andrew Ukleja, a gastroenterologist with the new Center for Human Nutrition at Cleveland Clinic Weston.

“We overall serve a unique group of patients with very complex diseases and complex medical problems,” Ukleja said.

The “team” approach at the Human Nutrition Center also includes surgical interventions.

“We have a couple of things that we offer. for example, if a patient has short bowel syndrome, some of them have remaining bowel that can be reconnected. So, if we do corrective surgery, we can restore the length of the gut and they can achieve what we call enteric autonomy so they can again regain the possibility to eat,” Ukleja said.

Wolfson goes to the center monthly for bloodwork to check her nutrient levels.

“It’s crucial for me to have this center,” she said.

And Wolfson has even become an advocate for people with similar issues.

“Every day is a present to me, and I appreciate it and live life to the fullest,” she said.

Wolfson has started a support group on social media.

To learn more about her effort, look for South Florida Ostomy and Tub Feeding/HPN Support Group on Facebook.

She also invites people to email her at  to get notifications of virtual and in-person support meetings.

About the Authors:

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.