September 15, 2021 Achiever Stories

Achievement Story: Elliott, Fifth Grade, Loess Hills Computer Programming Elementary School

Loess Hills Computer Programming Elementary School Student Elliott M
Loess Hills Computer Programming Elementary School fifth-grader Elliott (pictured with assistant principal Zach Davis) loves math, Stephen Curry from the Golden State Warriors, and Roblox. But, that's only the beginning of the story for this cancer and transplant survivor.

Elliott likes math. During his 11 years, the Loess Hills Computer Programming Elementary School fifth-grader has collected his share of remarkable numbers.

  • 10 hours of peritoneal dialysis nightly at six months old
  • 15 surgeries
  • 18 blood transfusions
  • 23 medications as a newborn

While the stats are impressive, they are not nearly as incredible as Elliott himself. A cancer and transplant survivor, Elliott is simply a “kind soul” says his mom, Rachel.

“Elliott is such as an outgoing kid – full of life and cares so much for his friends at school. He’s determined and never complains when he has to see doctor after doctor. Elliott never gives up, and he always has a smile on his face,” says Rachel.

Elliott’s inspiring story began when he was born three months early with polycystic kidneys and end-stage renal disease. At six months old, Elliott endured in-home peritoneal dialysis treatments for 10 hours every night as he awaited a kidney transplant.

Because of reduced kidney function, Elliott had a seizure due to low ionized calcium. To get his calcium levels up quickly, doctors placed an IV into Elliott’s leg bone. The IV leaked, causing compartment syndrome – a condition in which increased pressure in Elliott’s leg resulted in insufficient blood supply. Elliott’s medical team operated on his leg five times over five days to remove unhealthy tissue, saving his foot.

“We weren’t sure he would ever walk, run or jump again,” recalls Rachel, “but he has proven us wrong time and time again. Nothing slows Elliott down.”

But, Elliott’s leg surgeries were just the beginning. While preparing for his kidney transplant, Elliott was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma or liver cancer. During a successful surgery at age two, doctors removed two-thirds of Elliott’s liver along with his gall bladder to remove several malignant masses and affected areas.

On July 23, 2013, at three years old, Elliott’s life changed when he received a new kidney that he proudly nicknamed Francis. Today, “Francis” is eight years old and going strong.

“He is an amazing kid. His humor and his laugh are infectious,” says Rachel. “He is our inspiration and a hero to us all.”

Here at the Sioux City Community School District, we could not agree more.