The Courier-Mail

BIG GRIN OF LITTLE BATTLER

- ROSE BRENNAN

ELLY Teese doesn’t look sick. She plays with her brother and rides horses and motorbikes but behind her laughter, the brave four-yearold is living every day with the fallout from her entire oesophagus being severely burnt when she was a toddler.

Almost three years after the ordeal, her throat must be surgically stretched every eight weeks and she can eat only small amounts of soft food every hour or so.

When Elly was 19 months old her family were visiting a property when she swallowed a tiny amount of commercial cleaner that burnt through her oesophagus and stomach.

While her stomach repaired itself, last year alone Elly spent over 120 nights in hospital and endured about 40 surgeries that included part of her stomach being cut out and used to rebuild her oesophagus.

“She is so resilient to what she’s been through because she’s been through so much,” mum Kathy Teese, 35, said.

“During the daytime if I didn’t tell you Elly was sick you honestly wouldn’t know.

“She runs around and plays like any normal kid … she is as tough as any other four-year-old if not tougher.”

Elly, from Jimboomba, has difficulti­es when she sleeps because she is unable to swallow naturally, putting her at grave risk of choking.

She doesn’t do anything the easy way but she takes it all in her stride.

“She has taken the hard road with everything, every time they give us a range of outcomes she has unfortunat­ely also been on the hardest scale of things,” Mrs Teese said. “She’s an incredibly strong little girl.”

Elly is ambassador for the Children’s Hospital Foundation’s telethon, which is being launched today and which will be held on October 17. WWW.9TELETHON.COM.AU

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