Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is occasionally associated with tracheobronchomalacia, and it is this combination that can lead to serious outcomes. The most severe cases require tracheostomies, ventilatory support and eventually even tracheal stents or surgery. Ventilation in patients with tracheomalacia is complicated without a good patient-ventilator synchrony; the neurally adjusted ventilatory assist (NAVA) mode is potentially beneficial in these cases. This case report presents a patient affected by BPD and severe tracheobronchomalacia who was tracheostomised and ventilated 24 hours a day and who suffered from episodes of airway collapse despite using the NAVA mode. It was necessary to increase the positive end-expiratory pressure to 20 cmH2O (the PEEP-20 manoeuvre) for several minutes during an episode; this allowed the trachea to remain open and allowed us to optimise the patient's ventilation. This strategy has previously been described in a patient with tracheomalacia, reducing the frequency and need for sedation in the following episodes.