Posted: Feb 22, 2012 5:15 PM by Carina Corral
Updated: Feb 23, 2012 10:50 AM
You would never know it just by looking at her, but five weeks ago Baby Ella of Arroyo Grande had her second open heart surgery, which was ahead of schedule.
"We grew her so big so fast that she outgrew her first surgery and it was time for her next one," said Ella's mother, Melissa Beckstead.
Ella was born with "hypo-plastic left heart syndrome," which means the left side of her heart never developed.
Ella will need another surgery in about two-three years, but for now at five-months-old, she is beating the odds.
"She's doing well. She's a strong baby," said Brady Beckstead, Ella's father.
She is now strong enough to drink from bottles and eat solids after being fed through a tube the first four months of her life.
She is also now down to two rounds of medications a day from 11.
It has been a rough start for these new parents, but Melissa and Brady said the support has been overwhelming.
"I don't know if we can accomplish giving everything back in a life time, I mean, it's amazing what we've received as far as help with this little miracle here," said Brady.
They figure they have to start somewhere, so this week are holding a fundraiser called Ella Gives Back.
It will be held at Giuseppe's in Pismo Beach on Thursday from 4 pm-10pm.
Tickets are $30, which include food, entertainment and some uplifting stories.
Much of the money raised, $20 from each ticket, will go to the Children's Heart Foundation to help with research.
It will also be a night of inspiration as folks hear from survivors.
"One of the oldest living survivors, living in the world with H.L.H.S., is going to be attending to and she's 26," said Melissa.
The rest of the money the Beckstead's hope to give to a family in a similar situation as theirs as a way of ella giving back.
People are asked to only come if they are healthy.
Ella and other "heart babies," as they are affectionately called, will be there and cannot afford to get sick.
Click here to buy tickets on line.
They will also be available at the door.