Elliott Reid is well-known in his hometown of Tumbler Ridge, BC. He has been air-lifted to BC Children's Hospital twice from the rural northern town of 2,000 residents. The young teen suffered irreparable heart damage and has undergone two surgeries to treat this life-threatening condition. Elliot even persevered through having his chest open in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for several days while doctors monitored him for infection following surgery.
In 2008, Elliott's heart became enlarged - the sack around his heart filled with fluid - from a bout of rheumatic fever caused by a relatively common strep infection. Luckily for the Reid family, their local physician happened to be a cardiac specialist who immediately recognized that Elliott was suffering from a serious heart problem. Both times Elliott was air-lifted to Vancouver while a team of caregivers prepared for the surgery he would have upon arrival.
Eventually the swelling in Elliott's heart went down but his heart was permanently damaged. Although he did not require surgery back then - he was able to return home with medication - it would not be long before a subsequent illness would make him gravely ill again.
In January 2009, Elliott acquired strep again, but this time the damage was so severe that he was too fragile to undergo the surgery he needed. Two months later, in March 2009, Elliott was finally well enough to have the operation he required.
Fortunately for Elliott, he has been well enough to get follow-up treatment closer to home at a Child Health BC clinic in Prince George. The Child Health BC clinic has spared the family an 18-hour, treacherous drive to Vancouver to get the specialized care Elliott needs. And today, Elliott has been cleared to see his local doctor for checkups in Tumbler Ridge.
Despite the distance, Elliott’s family decided to make a special visit to Children’s for the Miracle Weekend telethon in June 2011 to present a cheque for $3,100. Fundraising in his home community was Elliott’s way to give back to the place that helped to save his life. The Miracle Weekend team was so taken by this outgoing teen that they invited him back in 2012 to help co-host the live broadcast.