CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala. – Few things are more life-affirming than the joy of a child. Seeing a smile light up their face warms everyone’s hearts and few groups are as dedicated to creating that joy as Make-A-Wish Alabama. A swimming pool would bring the biggest smile to Bo Elliott.
“They actually prepped us not to walk out of the hospital with him,” Bo’s dad, Anthony Elliott told News 19. “They came to the conclusion he was going to live but he would never walk or talk again.”
Anthony said they were told Bo’s life expectancy was three but he wouldn’t live to see the age of four.
In August, Bo will beat the odds once again, when he celebrates his fourth birthday.
“He’s put in the work.” Bo’s mom, Amber Elliott said.
It has been a miracle for the Elliotts who relied on their faith to get them through some dark days. Starting one morning in March 2019 when they found an 18-month old Bo paralyzed in his crib.
“We immediately rushed him to Huntsville Hospital and nobody could figure out what was wrong with him and then the neurologist came in there and said ‘I’m not sure but I believe this is Leight Syndrome,'” Anthony recalled.
A rare neurological syndrome, affecting one in 400,000 children. A twin diagnosis of Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Deficiency, so rare the Elliotts only know of one other child in the world who has both.
Bo has regained some of his ability to swallow and is making great strides with his physical, occupational and speech therapy.
Amber said, “The thing with his condition though is he can make all the progress but either one of his conditions can be triggered on a whim.”
One of the challenges is regulating his body temperature, especially for a little boy who always wants to be outside. Water is his favorite.
“He wants to splash in it. He wants to swim in it. Bathtime is exciting and very eventful.” Amber said with a laugh.
If there’s one thing Bo loves more than water, it’s his two older brothers.
Amber told News 19, “He can get in the pool and swim with his brothers. It’s something they can do as a family, they can have that time together.”
So, when Bo’s grandma signed him up with Make-A-Wish Alabama, his wish was for an above-ground pool.
“I’ve never heard of a child around me getting a wish. You hear about it on the news. But you never expect it to be your child that gets a wish.” Anthony said. “Just thank you from us to the community for everything you’ve done. We can’t say enough.”
While the Elliotts wait for the day Bo’s wish can come true they’re busy planning a birthday party, counting the candles but also their blessings.
The Elliott’s, who live in Cullman County, said they are waiting on a pool installer to take a look at their property and if it happens in time for Bo’s 4th birthday that would just be icing on the cake.
If you’d like to help make wishes come true for critically-ill children in our community, visit the Make-A-Wish Alabama donation page here. You can also donate by texting “wishes” to 243725.