Just before his thirteenth birthday last spring, Eli was home getting ready for school with his older brothers. Eli’s mom Desiree had left for work. Eli didn’t feel well. He was dizzy and he kept falling asleep. One of his brothers tried to help him wake up by playing a video game with him, but he fell asleep with the controller in his hand. Finally it was decided that Eli should stay home from school, go back to bed and take a nap. Fortunately, one of his brothers chose to stay home with him because a few hours later Eli had a severe seizure. His brother acted quickly to get Eli help, calling 911 and his mother. When Desiree arrived home Eli had another seizure. Desiree remembers feeling terrified. The ambulance arrived and transported Eli to Nationwide Children’s Hospital Emergency Department.
As soon as Eli arrived in the Emergency Department he had yet another seizure. An emergency CT scan and MRI showed a mass in Eli’s brain. Eli was having difficulty breathing so he was placed on a ventilator and moved to the Intensive Care Unit. A few days later Eli had surgery to remove his brain tumor. The physicians told Desiree they were able to remove the entire tumor but that Eli’s type of tumor often had “fingers’ that intertwined with the brain tissue. For this reason he would need chemotherapy and radiation. Doctors continued to work to find the right medications to control Eli’s seizures.
Finally, by mid to late summer Eli started to feel a little better. His seizures were under control and he began to recover from the effects of his treatments. The hospice and palliative care team began to visit Eli and his family at home providing medical care and emotional and spiritual support. Eli is visited regularly by nurses, a social worker, and a chaplain. Since starting to feel better, Eli and his family have been busy making memories. Eli was able to fulfill a dream to swim with the dolphins when Make a Wish sent Eli and his family to SeaWorld, Disneyworld, and Aquatica. Eli has always wanted to be a police officer and he recently spent a day with Columbus City Police officers and was appointed as an officer in a swearing in ceremony. He was also adopted by the Ohio State University Women’s Swim Team. Eli, who has 3 brothers, now has 32 sisters!