Thanks to your generous donations and support, the Children’s Hospital Foundation can help kids like two-year-old Eliot get back home with their families.

Eliot has spent more than 400 days in hospital after doctors diagnosed him with major aortopulmonary collateral arteries, which meant the arteries in his heart that supply blood to his lungs had not developed properly. At the same time, it was discovered that he also had severe tracheobronchomalacia, a rare condition that occurs when the walls of the airway particularly the trachea (windpipe) and bronchi are weak.

The cardiac diagnosis meant he needed open-heart surgery as soon as his little body was ready. So at just four weeks old, Eliot had his first major operation to repair his pulmonary vessels. The surgery was a success but his weakened airways let him down and doctors were unable to extubate him (remove his endotracheal tube). However, Eliot managed to overcome this and was eventually successfully extubated. Next, he was placed on high flow (and then low flow) oxygen therapy during the day and a snorkel mask at night to ventilate.

However, after a few weeks Eliot’s condition started to deteriorate. Further investigation showed that his tracheobronchomalacia was extensive – in fact it was one of the more severe cases his doctors had seen.

Eliot had to be placed on round-the-clock ventilation on a bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machine to help him breathe. It was another six months before his parents received the wonderful news that they could take their baby boy home.

Eliot is one of 13 children receiving care through Children’s Health Queensland’s home ventilation program. Thanks to funding from the Foundation, this month the program was able to purchase three Trilogy ventilators which enables kids with high medical needs, like Eliot, to lead more normal lives at home.

“It always felt like our family was divided while he was in hospital so it’s made a huge difference being able to be at home with Eliot. At first it felt almost surreal, just being able to wake up and start the day together as a family and enjoy simple things like having dinner together,” Eliot’s mum Caroline said.

“I’m so thankful to the Children’s Hospital Foundation and donors because without these ventilators we wouldn’t be able to have Eliot at home which is vital for him to have a normal and happy life.”

As you can see, there’s not much stopping Eliot who is enjoying running around at home, playing with his toy cars and spending time with his parents, Caroline, Manuel and big sister Mia.

“Hospital staff said Eliot was one of the happiest babies they had known. He handled every obstacle and challenge with a big grin on his face. His character is so strong and resilient. Nothing fazes him – except if you try to wipe his face!,” Caroline said.

To help us fund more life-saving medical equipment for children like Eliot, please donate via our website https://www.childrens.org.au/ways-to-give/