What is TEF/EA?
The trachea is the windpipe and goes to the lungs. The esophagus is the "food pipe" and goes to the stomach. They run side-by-side through the neck and upper chest. Normally the trachea and the esophagus are not connected in any way. Very early in the development of a fetus a single tube will divide to form the esophagus and the trachea. For an unknown reason, sometimes the wall does not form properly and a tracheal esophageal fistula and/or esophageal atresia may be the result.
A fistula is an abnormal connection and atresia means a blockage. An esophageal atresia is a blockage in the esophagus, which can occur with or without a fistula. There are a variety of ways the esophagus and trachea can be connected with a fistula.
There are five different variations of a TEF. The one that Jeremy had I think it was this one.
An absence of a portion of the esophagus with fistula connections to the trachea from both the upper and lower portions of the esophagus; this accounts for 1 percent of cases.
* information from this website http://www.chw.org