Age 2, Maryland

Meet Elliot. Elliott is the most amazing kid – always happy and loves life. He likes to be outside, go for walks, play with his big sister, and help cook dinner by tasting everything. He makes his mom, dad, and sister laugh every day with his shenanigans.

Elliot's list of medical issues is long: esophageal atresia, bowel rupture, tracheomalacia, tracheal diverticulum, recurrent fistula, congenital esophageal stricture, and cerebral palsy. He's had 6 major surgeries and been hospitalized 13 times – a total of 8 months of his young life! He's had innumerable blood transfusions, dilations, spinal taps, CT scans, MRIs, PICC lines, and more. He sees 11 different specialists, plus his regular pediatrician, on a regular basis, and requires immediate intervention when he is sick. 

After numerous surgeries to correct the physical malformations, his greatest current need is therapy: physical, occupational, and speech, to help him be as active as possible. We work with the county early intervention program and private therapists 3-5 times a week. Elliott works hard at therapy, and is making amazing progress – he's learning to sit up and is starting to talk! Next step: walking!

Elliott's doctors are optimistic that will eventually learn to walk and talk, so we push him every day to improve, and he is improving. He loves to eat, and is finally starting to understand how much cooler it is to be able to sit on his own than be propped up all the time! He communicates very well, can answer questions, and even make choices between two options. He shows progress every week. All of this is thanks to medical interventions, therapy, grit, and determination.

However, with all of Elliott's medical needs, we'd be lost without medical insurance. The cost of all of his medical care has well-exceeded $3 million. We are currently applying for a Medicaid waiver, and hope to be approved for that soon, but we know there is a long waiting list in our state.

Submitted by Elliott's mom, Caroline