DENVER — Elliott Mellon was born September 26 with a chromosome defect known as DiGeorge syndrome. The newborn was also diagnosed with a rare heart defect and had to undergo open-heart surgery days later. Now, the Mellon family is in the fight of a lifetime.
Elliott is barely two weeks old, and he's already overcome more obstacles than most people will see in their lifetime.
"They looked at the heart and noticed something wasn't quite right," said Ariel Mellon, Elliott's mom.
Inside the pediatric intensive care unit at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Elliott is sleeping soundly.
In addition to the DiGeorge syndrome diagnosis, Elliott was born with a hole in his heart and a condition where his pulmonary arteries are so enlarged, it makes it difficult to breathe.
"They've said they only had a handful of kids that have ever had that combination, said Nate Mellon, Elliott's dad.
Nate and Ariel Mellon are from Rifle. They learned about Eliott's heart condition a few weeks before he was born.
They came to Denver with their daughter Cassidy to have their son. Seconds after birth, Elliott was taken into intensive care.
"We got to hear him cry two or three times when he came out of the womb, but that was the only time," said Nate Mellon.
Eleven days later, after several seizures, Elliott had open-heart surgery.
"It was really hard to see, but it was really amazing to see his little heartbeat underneath the dressing," said Ariel Mellon.
The Rifle family has had little sleep. They've only been able to hold Elliot for a few minutes.
"I just want to pick him up and hold him and snuggle him and kiss him and be able to be his mom," said Ariel Mellon.
Nate Mellon is making the three-hour commute From Denver to Rifle for his job three days a week. Right now, nothing is more important than their son.
"We're making it work," said Ariel Mellon.
Doctors say Elliott faces more heart surgeries in the future. They're confident this little fighter will pull through.
"He absolutely is a fighter," said Dr. Vinod Sebastian from Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. "He's stronger than any of us adults."
As Elliott faces the challenges ahead, his family is asking for prayers.
"We love him so much," said Ariel Mellon. "We just want the best for him. We're staying as positive as he can. He's our little miracle baby."
The Mellon family is facing a lot of expenses in the future.
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