Eli’s story begins more than a month earlier than it was supposed to. He is a premature baby boy, due October 17th, but born September 15th, 2017. He spent almost the entire first week of his life in intensive care. His lungs were underdeveloped and he may have been born with a heart condition (testing for confirmation and possible treatment plan still in progress). Despite all the complications, Eli’s day finally came. He was discharged from the hospital and set out on his maiden voyage with his family, friends, and high hopes by his side.
Unfortunately, Eli also left the hospital with a serious condition that went unnoticed. He was born with a condition called Pyloric Stenosis. For the first two and a half months of his life, Eli’s condition prevented him from being able to eat. He couldn’t digest more than one tablespoon of formula out of every full bottle and he had to endure throwing up the rest of his food after every single meal. Sadly the condition caused him to suffer immensely while living in a perpetual state of starvation. It wasn’t until after his 12th week of entering this world that doctors diagnosed his condition and the source of his suffering, but by then he was so sick and malnourished (he weighed less than he did the day he was born), that he wouldn’t have survived even a few more days without emergency surgery.
After a successful surgery and just under a week in the hospital, Eli improved dramatically. He was able to enjoy a meal for the first time in his life, he caught up to his target weight, and it was all smiles and laughs for a few weeks after he returned home.
However, Eli’s recovery was interrupted ten days ago. What started as a seemingly mild case of the flu became more severe and more suspicious with each day that passed. After trips to urgent care, the ER in Porterville, and attempts by mom and dad to do whatever they could to make him well again, he still showed no signs of improvement and was taken back to Valley Children’s Hospital. Eli was diagnosed with RSV - or Respiratory Syncytial Virus - which is extremely dangerous and painful in infants, especially in premature babies. Eli has been in intensive care since Friday February 16th, is under round-the-clock observation, and is expected to spend several more days in the hospital.
While he’s been such a strong little boy throughout his trials thus far, Eli has and continues to suffer a great deal. His family has suffered along side him the entire time, and they are all desperate to see him well, happy, and finally able to begin enjoying the life he deserves.
We are asking anyone who is capable: please help alleviate the toll the last five months has taken on Eli and his family. Over the short amount of time Eli has been with us, his Mom & Dad have completely exhausted years worth of savings just to keep him alive and stay afloat. Unfortunately, financial exhaustion is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s the emotional and physical exhaustion as well as the strain their relationship, household, and family have had to endure that has proven to be the most difficult obstacle to overcome.
Mom, dad, Eli, his two sisters (Kadence & Emma), and the rest of his extended family and friends are forever grateful for all the help they receive while trying to make it through this difficult time.
Thank you for reading and for sharing Eli’s story. Have a blessed day!
- Chris bailey
- Tim Chastain
- Hanna Serafin
- Kimberley Nelson
- Joseph Amos
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