PLAYING TOGETHER: Connor Sleeman, 6, Noah Sleeman, 3, Bryce Marshall, 5 and Elliot Jones, 4, hang out at The Umbrella Network/Heart Kids support group gathering. Photo Austin King / The Morning Bulletin
PLAYING TOGETHER: Connor Sleeman, 6, Noah Sleeman, 3, Bryce Marshall, 5 and Elliot Jones, 4, hang out at The Umbrella Network/Heart Kids support group gathering. Photo Austin King / The Morning Bulletin Austin King

Rockhampton's Elliot Jones is not alone with heart problems

ELLIOT Jones looks like a normal four-year-old boy but underneath his T-shirt are more scars than someone his age should have to bear.

Elliot, 4, was born with his heart back-to-front, the beating organ has three holes in it, he has two artificial pulmonary arteries attached to his lungs and he has had open-heart surgery at just seven-days-old.

His mum Rebecca Jones told The Morning Bulletin her boy will need constant medical attention for the rest of his life.

"About a couple of minutes after he was born, the alarms in the ward went off, that meant they had to take him out of the room ... he was turning a different colour," Rebecca said.

"Before I and my husband knew it, Elliot was being flown down to a hospital in Brisbane.

"When I was pregnant, we didn't know he had all these heart complications ... we were scared."

On Saturday, at Rockhampton's first Heart Kids support group gathering, Elliot played with other children with heart conditions as well.

Heart Kids support manager Angela Richardson said the support group gatherings were designed for families, whose children suffer from heart problems, to share stories with one another.

"Some of these children find it hard to bond with others but these support group meetings will help them identify others who also are like them," she said.

"They are not in any way different to any other children ... they just want to be like normal kids.

"This is also great for parents to build up their networks."

For more information on The Umbrella Network you can visit www.theumbrellanetwork.org/rockhampton.

If you would like to be part of the support group you can contact Angela on 07 3847 7552 or Raelene Ensby on 0408506287.

CAKE TIME: Elliot Jones chows down on his chocolate cake at The Umbrella Network/Heart Kids support group gathering. Photo Austin King / The Morning Bulletin
CAKE TIME: Elliot Jones chows down on his chocolate cake at The Umbrella Network/Heart Kids support group gathering. Photo Austin King / The Morning Bulletin Austin King


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