Editor's note: Contact7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact7 stories here.
DENVER -- He's been fighting since the day he was born a little over a month ago. Now, baby Elliott Melon is facing some new challenges.
Born with a rare heart condition, he's already had open heart surgery, and this week has had more setbacks.
After we told you his story two weeks ago, Contact7 viewers have stepped in to help the family.
It's five weeks of prayers, tears and sleepless nights.
"I just want to pick him up and hold him and love him, " said Ariel Mellon. "He's hanging in there. He's a strong boy," she told Contact7.
Elliott Mellon was on born September 26 with a chromosome defect known as DiGeorge syndrome. He's already had open heart surgery. More procedures are in future.
"I think he's been through so much. Hopefully this is just a speed bump," said Nate Mellon.
For more than a month baby Elliott's parents, Nate and Ariel, have stood vigil over their child in the pediatric ICU at Rocky Mountain Hospital — waiting for signs of improvement.
These pictures of Elliott sitting up, and dressed in his Halloween "Olaf" costume show glimpses of the fighter his parents have come to know and love. But this week has been tough.
"It's been a rough week for Elliott, but we're staying strong just like he shows us everyday," said his mother.
After weeks of progress, Elliott has had a setback. He had to have his breathing tune re-inserted. He also has a bacterial infection, fluid in his lungs, and blood clots.
"It was super emotional for me. I was like, 'Oh man, we're going backwards,'" said Ariel.
Through it all, Elliott has never given up.
"We had to take him to get a CT scan of his head the other day and he was fighting and kicking them. Definitely showing us he's still there," said Nate.
Nate has been making the three-hour commute to Rifle for his job several times a week.
After Contact7 brought you Elliott's story two weeks ago, viewers responded to the Contact7 Gives page. On Wednesday, a family facing so many challenges saw a small ray of light.
We presented the family with a $500 King Soopers card to help pay for gas and groceries.
"It's our way of saying how much we appreciate you guys," said Contact7's Tom Mustin. "Thank you so much this. This will help out tremendously," said Nate.
Now, with their little boy facing new battles each day, these grateful parents are saying thank you to the generous viewers who've made them feel they're not alone.
"Thank you guys so much. We're very grateful and blessed for a community like this," said Ariel.
The community has been wonderful. I feel like it's definitely given me a belief in humanity again," echoed Nate.
The Mellon family says they'd love to have Elliott receive some get well cars. You can mail them to:
c/o Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children
2001 N. High St. Denver, Co, 80295
Attention: PICU Elliott Mellon.
Denver7 has created an easy way for people to help others in our community. We have featured the stories of people who need help and now you help them with a cash donation through Contact7 Gives. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be used to help people in our local community.