Meet Starlight Heart Warrior, Elliot
Two-year-old Elliott loves Paw Patrol, cheese sandwiches, books, video games, dogs, and dinosaurs. If you meet him, he’ll most likely be running around, smiling, and doing a dance where he stomps his feet really fast, something his mom Mariah says is one of the funniest things she has ever seen.
Mariah is so grateful for her son’s huge personality, and every day they try and live life to the fullest. There have been many times during his young life that they thought Elliott wasn’t going to make it.
In utero, he was diagnosed with extremely rare heart defects: double outlet right ventricle with non-committed VSD, transposition of the great arteries, and aortic hypoplasia. When he was just four days old, Elliott underwent surgery to place a band around his artery to prevent too much blood from flowing to his lungs. He also had his aortic arch reconstructed to make it bigger.
Elliott remained in the hospital for five months, requiring many surgeries before his parents could take him home.
Two days before his first birthday, Mariah and her husband had to make a decision. Elliott had to undergo a high-risk but necessary surgery that only had a 20% success rate. The surgery took twelve hours, but Elliott is a fighter and survived.
Before that major surgery, we sent Elliott one of our awesome Starlight Gowns — the comfy and colorful hospital gowns we created just for kids.
Here’s what Mariah told us about Elliott’s Starlight Gown:
“We love it. It is so easy to get on him, so very soft. It is his special gown.”
We are grateful that this mighty Starlight heart warrior is thriving right now. Unfortunately, congenital heart defects (CHD) do not have a cure and Mariah says Elliott will need a heart transplant one day.
Did you know 1 in 100 babies born in the US are diagnosed with a CHD?
Let’s make sure every child who requires long hospital stays can enjoy Starlight programs like Starlight Gowns, Gaming and Virtual Reality, because no matter the amount of surgeries, every child deserves an incredibly fun childhood.