LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- An Elizabethtown infant is fighting for his life, in desperate need of a new heart.
Eli Alexander was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect before he was born. At 11-days-old he was put on the heart transplant list. He has been at Norton Children’s Heart Center since the day he was born.
Small but strong, Eli Alexander is a fighter.
"Until he's gone there's no point in giving up hope- because until he's gone the battle's not over," his mother, Caitlyn Alexander said.
But his battle is a tough one. Eli has had more than a dozen procedures in his short 10-week life.
"Every day just became waking up and going ok, is my baby going to be alive today?" Caitlyn shared.
His one-month picture wasn't traditional, but for his mom and dad, that was ok. It was one more month than they were promised.
"One day you wake up and you feel great and the next day you're scared and you're crying, and then the doctors give you good news and you feel better," Caitlyn said.
The best news came on Christmas Eve when Eli was believed strong enough to breathe on his own.
"They excavated him, took his breathing tube out, and we got to hear him cry for the first time, other than when he was first born, he got to hear himself cry which was adorable," Nick Alexander, his father, said.
"I was excited and then I got a phone call and they said he's not breathing right, his numbers are kind of off. We have to put the tube back in," Caitlyn said.
As quickly as the high came, it went, and the sinking feeling settled back in.
"Eli could pass on in any moment, and that's just something that we're ok with. I don't want to say we're ok with it. We're at peace with it," Nick said.
Right now, Eli is on ECMO, meaning a machine is helping his heart pump blood. But his time on this treatment is limited.
As his parents wait for a new heart, they continue to struggle with the loss that would allow their child to live.
"As scary as this is, to know that another mother is going to lose her child, that she went through the same things that we did is absolutely heartbreaking. Just the gravity of that situation has been something that we have to deal with, our family has had to deal with and its always on our minds," Caitlyn said.
On their minds, and on their hearts, but for now, they just stay positive.
"No matter how short a life is still a lifetime," Caitlyn said.
Stay up-to-date with Eli’s condition on Facebook.
The family is raising money to cover his medical bills with a custom T-shirt in his honor.
One way they are staying positive is a supportive online community. Caitlyn blogs weekly about the experience and Eli’s condition.
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