SAPULPA, Okla. -- Elliott is only 10-months-old but has spent a majority of his life in the hospital after being born with Congenital Heart Defects.
His family wants people to know CHD doesn't mean a broken heart, but a heart that's filled with strength and hope.
"He’s such a happy little boy, he smiles and giggles," said Shawna Ellis, Elliott's grandmother.
In less than a year the strong little boy has had five open heart surgeries, spent four weeks on life support, and suffered through several strokes.
"All those little milestones that you experience with little ones, they are experiencing but it’s different being in the hospital setting," said Ellis.
Milestones like getting his first tooth and saying his first words.
"He just started saying 'dada' and 'mama' in the last week or two so that’s neat to see," said Ellis.
His mom, Myriah, has been staying at the Ronald McDonald House sine February, and his dad works in Broken Arrow through the week to pay the bills.
With the surgeries adding up, Sapulpa high school drama teacher, Becky Braswell, who had Myriah as a student years ago, decided to step in and help.
"She was with me for three years, did musicals, did plays, did competitions, confided in me when she had hard times and she’s just one of my kids so of course I love her kids, too," said Braswell.
The students put on a 24-hour play competition. They came to the school at 7 Friday night and spent all day writing a script, memorizing lines, and getting costumes, and put on the shows Saturday at 7, 24 hours later.
"This has been a couple years in the making and this was just the right time turning it into a benefit was perfect," said Braswell.
Spectators voted on their favorite out of the four plays by putting money in boxes. Whoever got the highest amount won. Local businesses also donated items for an auction. All of the money collected Saturday night goes to Elliott and his family.
"It just means so much to our family that people care," said Ellis.
You can visit their Facebook page, Hearts for Elliott, for updates on the baby boy.
The family also has a GoFundMe page for those who'd like to donate.
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