The little Elijah can soon blow out 3 candles. But by just a whisker, he almost never shined at all.
For April Leffingwell its the fulfillment of a dream as she discovers that she's pregnant. But within a few weeks everything changes: from whooping with joy to deathly sorrow...
For at a routine checkup in the 20th week of her pregnancy, the doctors discover something horrible: a tumor has formed in the embryo's lung, growing rapidly. Soon it is as big as the baby's head. Mom April is now facing the most important decision of her life: only an operation in her uterus could save the little Elijah.
Elijah's chance of survival is only 5o percent. But without an operation, death is certain. So April walks the path of uncertainty and undergoes the procedure. The massive tumor is removed through the abdominal wall. But complications begin to arise: Elijah's diaphragm has been perforated and the lung has collapsed. Only through the efforts of the doctors can the little creature be kept alive, laid back into the mother's womb.
And the bell tolls for Elijah 7 weeks before the due date: he is greeted by the light of the world! The whole universe stands still for the family. April weeps tears of joy and relief. But the battle is nowhere close to over...
The internal injuries caused by the operation have wracked Elijah's body so badly that he must immediately be brought into intensive care. There he is hooked up to a breathing apparatus and is fed through a tube.
Father Jason does not leave Elijah's side. Night after night he reads books to his son. When Elijah hears his father's voice, he sleeps peacefully, comforted by the calming cadence of his voice.
Indeed, the following weeks and months are a true fight for the little Elijah. Due to the drip feeding, his natural swallowing reflex is stunted.
Elijah must learn slowly and painfully to eat and drink naturally. But it gets better every day.
Here is a snapshot shortly before his 2nd birthday. In the meantime, Elijah has started to really love eating, even if his portions are still pretty small.
And when he's in the mood, Elijah loves to show his humor. Who can resist such a sweet little rascal?
Yet there are still days when Elijah looks like this. But who can blame him for that after hearing his special story. But luckily these days are becoming less frequent.
And now it's almost Elijah's 3rd birthday. And despite his difficult start, his family couldn't be happier. For now they have the most beautiful gift in the world: Elijah's life!
Elijah's fight is still not over yet. Every pound gained is hard fought. But the doctors say that soon Elijah will have the life of a normal child.
Share this moving story of a mighty fighter with all others. Elijah is an inspiration for all!
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