Baton Rouge child earns gold medals at National Transplant Games

Baton Rouge child among youngest participants in upcoming Transplant Games
Briggs is pictured with the gold medal he earned for excelling in the swimming competition at the National Transplant Games (Source: Family)
Briggs is pictured with the gold medal he earned for excelling in the swimming competition at the National Transplant Games (Source: Family)
At just 3-weeks-old, Briggs was diagnosed with biliary atresia (Source: Family)
At just 3-weeks-old, Briggs was diagnosed with biliary atresia (Source: Family)
Briggs had to have a liver transplant just months after his diagnosis (Source: Family)
Briggs had to have a liver transplant just months after his diagnosis (Source: Family)
Briggs' mother, Brittany, says no diagnosis is too big to concur (Source: Family)
Briggs' mother, Brittany, says no diagnosis is too big to concur (Source: Family)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge boy is one of the youngest participants in the National Transplant Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Running around his front yard, little Briggs Elliser is everything you would expect from a 3-year-old. He's a huge spark of energy matched only by his curious personality. His mother, Brittany, says every step he takes and every laugh is emotional because each precious moment is an experience doctors told her three years ago he would never have.

"He was diagnosed with biliary atresia at 3-weeks-old," said Elliser.

Just months after the diagnosis, Briggs needed a new liver. He underwent three transplants and four surgeries, and his mother admits it was a really rough time for their family of four.

"It's really amazing to think back that three years ago, we were told that we were going to make him comfortable and that there was nothing else we could do," said Elliser.

Now, she says his transformation has been nothing short of miraculous as she has watched her son literally grab hold of his second chance at life. "We got out of the hospital, we started doing therapies, and we've done everything that we can to give him as normal of a life as possible," she added.

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Now though, his ordinary life is about to become anything but. The family currently in Utah, where Briggs is competing in the National Transplant Games. One of the youngest competitors, Elliser is powering through, winning gold medals in a 45-yard swimming event and youth Olympiad.

"This is literally a first time for us and is a once in a lifetime thing for us," said Elliser. "We didn't know that he would ever get to do anything like this, so it's really cool."

While her son is tackling anything and everything he wants, Brittany hopes other transplant moms will remember no diagnosis is ever too big. "Keep fighting for your kids," she said. "That's the best advice that I can give, to not ever take no for an answer."

For anyone who is on the fence about becoming an organ donor, Elliser encourages them to think of her son and what is now possible for him thanks to someone's generous gift. "My son gets a full chance at life now to be able to do whatever he wants to do because someone said yes to organ donation," said Elliser.

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