Eli Campos Defies The Odds

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Eli Campos Defies The Odds

Alec Eaton, Staff Writer

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Freshman Eli Campos is someone many heard about over last summer’s break. Eli loves Pokémon, and the St. Louis Blues.

Eli is a friend to most and will hang out with just about anybody. But, his life almost ended last summer as he had to have a heart transplant on August 11, his 14th birthday.

Eli was born with multiple heart defects; he had pulmonary atresia, which means no artery goes to his lungs; atrial septal defect, which is a hole in his heart; and hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which means he has three chambers in his heart instead of four. He also had a rare disorder called heterotaxy syndrome, in which his stomach, spleen, liver, and gall bladder are in the wrong places.

“My family didn’t exactly know what it was,” said Eli. “I knew that I was getting a heart transplant, but I didn’t expect it until I was like in my fifties.”

Eli speculates on what might have caused the condition.

“None of my relatives have what I have as far back as we looked. I began thinking that the company that gave my mom her pills when she was pregnant with me had something to do with it,” Eli said.

Eli figured out he was getting a heart transplant on a normal appointment to the doctor.

“It was sad finding out and like I said, I didn’t expect this until I was older,” he said.

After the surgery, things started off rough. He explained, “I was not able to move, and I had serum-sickness where I’d get rashes all over my body.”

Eli still has issues after the surgery as well.

“It’s easier to get sick and I can’t eat raw foods like sushi and I love sushi and now I’m like allergic to it,” he added.

Eli has noticed an improvement since his surgery.

“I feel better than what I did, mentally and physically. I felt like I was reborn in a sense because my heart started beating on my birthday, at the same time I was born,” Eli said. “But, not much has changed since before the recovery except the fact I take more pills.”

“I want people to know not to treat people differently, like I got teased when people found out about my scars and it’s not nice,” Eli explained.

Eli is still recovering from the surgery but is at school and is happy that he’s here. If you see him in the halls, give him a high five.

For more information about Eli’s journey, make sure to check out the Facebook page Encouraging Eli.