Native baby looking for organ transplant finds assist from nationwide group

In October 2014, the Brooks family celebrated the birth of their newest member, Elliot Brooks.

The celebration was short-lived, however, as Elliot was unable to grow on routine checkups. The only growth was swelling in his kidneys.

Later that year, Elliot was diagnosed with congenital nephrotic syndrome, a disease in which one of his kidneys failed at a very young age. In 2015 it was removed and since then the boy has had to use a gastrostomy tube to help him eat.

“It was almost like having another full-time job just looking after Elliot and his medical needs,” said Elliot’s father, Todd Brooks. “Several trips to the hospital, to the clinic for blood collection, special medication. He only eats certain foods. He gets sick easily. “

Due to his condition, Elliot receives nightly shots in the stomach and is much smaller than most children his age. Despite everything, Elliot, now 6, has remained optimistic and has always smiled.

His parents help treat him with code words such as “Freddie,” a term they picked up during their stay in Ireland to refer to Elliot’s blood draw procedure.

Earlier this year, the Brooks family learned that Elliot would need a kidney transplant to reduce his risk of medical complications. Neither his father nor his mother, Frida Brooks, can donate their own kidneys because they have a different blood type than Elliots.

Finding a viable donor can be long and incredibly expensive. It can take weeks for potential kidney donors to become viable for a transplant. In addition, there are transplant-related costs throughout Elliot’s life, including medication and medical appointments. That could cost the Brooks family over $ 1 million after insurance.

“Once he’s transplanted, it’s a lifelong medical need just to keep his kidney from failing,” said Frida Brooks.

The Brooks family has partnered with the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, a national nonprofit that helps families struggling with transplant-related medical expenses, raise funds for Elliot’s treatment.

“It’s a great organization,” said Frida Brooks. “Instead of having the GoFundMe, this is a situation where the hospital and social workers set it up so it’s instantly more believable.”

The Bloomington, Indiana association has been helping families for 35 years. Every year they support around 250 new families across the country. At any point in time, the organization is connected to around 3,500 families.

The cost of child transplants can range from $ 800,000 to over $ 1 million, depending on the organ and where the family lives, according to the association.

The Children’s Organ Transplant Association hopes to raise $ 100,000 for Elliot through an online campaign website. All funds will be used directly to cover the family’s expenses as a result of the future transplant.

“When families face the transplant journey, there are so many things to deal with,” said Kristy Brown, chief development officer of the Children’s Organ Transplant Association. “The medical aspect, the emotional aspect, the care for your family. One of the things we can do that has really inspired me is to help with that financial component. “

The Brooks family needed extra safety during the pandemic, as Elliot’s condition puts it at greater risk for medical complications.

Elliot’s grandmother Eva Sellman moved to America from Ireland to help the family at the start of the pandemic. Now Sellman is the community coordinator for Elliot’s fundraiser. She worked with volunteers from the Children’s Organ Transplant Association to organize the fundraiser.

“I just hope it’s okay and we can find someone,” Sellman said.

The family said they were hoping for a potential Elliot transplant candidate to be considered. And they’re on their way to reaching the $ 100,000 goal: you’ve raised over $ 30,000.

Comments are closed.