Local 1-year-old in need of heart transplant, family hoping to find match

Elliana Nelms will be at Cincinnati Children’s until she gets a heart transplant

Local toddler in need of heart transplant

CINCINNATI, Ohio (FOX19) - A Tri-State mother is hoping someone is a match for her 1-year-old daughter who is in need of a heart transplant.

“Elliana is a very happy baby so when she started acting lethargic I was like OK, something isn’t right, my baby is too sleepy and she loves to eat,” Brittney Suedhof said. “She ate breakfast that morning but she was not interested.”

Suedhof says right away she took her daughter to a local clinic where she was told Elliana likely just had a fever, so she was discharged a short time later. Suedhof says her motherly instincts told her that wasn’t the case, so she took her daughter to Children’s Hospital.

“It was just so overwhelming,” Suedhof said.

That was on Feb. 26. Since, little 1-year-old Elliana Nelms has been in the hospital. Her mother says she’s been diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, meaning Elliana has an enlarged heart. Elliana has been through a series of tests, multiple medications and two surgeries since then.

Right now she’s in need of a new heart.

“Elliana is just not as happy as she used to be," Suedhof said. "You have to ask her to smile. She’s still playful but you have to ask her to play.”

No condition a parent ever wants to see their child in. Suedhof says she visits her daughter daily in the hospital, all while juggling life at home with Elliana’s father Stevon Nelms.

“Who would’ve thought this would be me in these shoes, juggling hospital life," Suedhof said. “So many people know me at the hospital now.”

FOX19 is told Elliana has to stay in the hospital until she gets a heart transplant. If you think you can help, Suedhof says reach out on the Elliana’s journey Facebook page.

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