About Me

  My name is Lori Elliott.  I am the wife of a wonderful man Joseph, and the mom of a 4 year old son Isaiah, a 3 year old son Jude, and the stop mom of a 12 year old step son Devin.

My husband and I got married on October 24th 2009.

In 2008 I found out I was pregnant with Isaiah my first son!  I was so excited and couldn’t wait to be a mom.
When I was 18 weeks pregnant they told me I was having a boy.  When the time came for my next appointment I didn’t want to go..I just had a really bad feeling about it all.  My husband offered to go with me so off we went.  It was at that appointment that we found out Isaiah was going to be born with bilateral cleft lip and palate.  I didn’t know what to think..the first thing the midwife said was don’t blame yourself..but naturally that is the FIRST thing I did.  Oh I shouldn’t have picked up anything heavy I should have done this or that.  After a day or two I chilled out and decided to learn more about what my baby would have.
I did the research and learned and found a FABULOUS cleft lip and palate team!
My Isaiah was born on May 14th 2009 beautiful and healthy. There were many doctor appointments a head of us. We had to go to a special dentist to get him fit for a device that would help stretch what little bit of a lip he had. When he was 3 months old he went in for his first surgery to repair his lip.  It went well and he continued to grow a month before his first birthday he went in for his second surgery for the first step in repairing his palate.
Now when Isaiah was about 8 months old I found out I was pregnant again!  I was so excited and scared.  Could I do this all over again if this baby had cleft lip and palate.  Well at 18 weeks I found out it was another boy..no cleft lip or palate this time.

On August 31st 2010 my son Jude was born.  He was beautiful!  He was born at a midwifes office around 11:00 pm and by 1 am we were home.  Things seemed to be going great until one day….
Jude was 16 days old and my husband was holding him and looked down and he was turning blue…then all the sudden his color came back. We began to watch him very closely and an hour or two later it happened again and there was just this look on Jude’s face we knew we needed to get him to the hospital ASAP!  Off we went to the closest hospital.  When we were there they let us know he needed to be life flighted to a children’s hospital.  They took him while we went home to back some bags and figure out the plans for Isaiah.  We drove up to the children’s hospital and spent the next few hours trying to relax in a waiting room.  Finally we were taken back to talk to a doctor who told us that our son had 2 strokes.  They took some x rays and noticed some abnormalities with his heart.  They took him to do better x rays and found out half of his heart wasn’t functioning at all.  When he was just 20 days old we had a meeting with a cardiology surgeon and there we were told Jude had a 0% chance to live. The strokes had caused some brain bleeds and that made it dangerous to do the open heart surgery but waiting was also very dangerous.  They decided it would be best to go head and do the surgery..but let us know not to expect to much.  At 21 days old they took Jude in for his first open heart surgery.
I have to tell you I had this very odd sense of peace about me.  The night before his surgery I had a dream.  My dream was about Jude and Isaiah they were rolling around on the floor fighting.  (Yes this dream gave me peace lol)  I believe the dream was God’s way to tell me it would be ok my baby would be ok!  I can’t tell you how long his surgery lasted but I remember sitting there with family and friends waiting for all the updates.  Then came the final update they were done he was doing good and we would be able to see him in a few hours.  Then the doctor came to talk to us and told us that Jude had actually died twice during surgery but they brought him back both times.  As I am sitting here writing this I can’t help but to cry.
They told us that during surgery they had hit his vocal cord and they didn’t know if he would ever talk.  I remember the day I walked back to the PICU and from down the hall I could hear my baby crying and making noise!  That was one of the best things I have ever heard in my entire life.  They said it would be a 3 to 4 weeks for his recovery before we could go back home…. in 2 1/2 weeks Jude was ready to go home and the doctors were stunned at how quickly he was recovering.

When he was about 6 months old he got a cold and his color started looking a little blue again.  Again we took him to the children’s hospital and they gave him what he needed to get over his cold and the necessary oxygen he needed to breath.
Once the infection was gone they got him ready for his 2nd open heart surgery.  For this surgery they gave us a better outcome to look forward to.  I remember the day before his surgery was Valentines day..so my husband came up to the hospital and we let the nurses watch Jude (my mom watched Isaiah) and we went out to eat and took some time for us before this next BIG surgery.  Jude went in for surgery early in the morning and it all went smooth.  Again recovery was faster than expected.

Now he is three years old and we are talking about what to expect with his next and hopefully final surgery. 
Every time we go to the cardiologist they can’t get over how well he is doing and they say his heart function is the best they have EVER seen from someone with his condition.  They say typically they should have raised his meds twice by now but they haven’t had to at all!

Jude does not let his heart condition stop him..he is just as active as Isaiah.
We always joke that they said he wouldn’t ever be a mountain climber…but this child climbs on everything and was climbing before he was walking….so who knows maybe he is trying to start early to prove them all wrong! 😉

Isaiah will also need to go though one more surgery when he is somewhere between 5 and 8 to repair his hard palate.

I know God is with my boys keeping them strong and there letting me know it will all be ok!

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