FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - It’s one week before Thanksgiving but a North Texas third grader is already giving thanks.
Each year students at Holy Cross Christian Academy does community service for the school’s “Giving Thanks Day.”
Mrs. Shira Sim’s third grade class volunteered to distribute “Meals on Wheels,” afterward, they’d go to the park to play as part of their field trip.
But after delivering meals to dozens of seniors, the class delivered a bit of happiness to a sick classmate who has been hospitalized with cystic fibrosis.
Nine year old Delaney Elliot was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 2.
“It’s an inherited disorder that causes stick or thick mucus throughout the body so the main places that are affected are the lungs and the sinuses and sometimes the digestive tract,” said Dr. Karen Schultz, who has been treating Delaney for years at Cook Children’s Medical Center.
The mucus is a breeding ground for bacteria so patients often receive antibiotics to control infections.
Delaney says sometimes feels pain in her chest, making it hard to breath.
And along with a constant cough, she has to take pills daily.
“The mucus is also in her pancreas so she has to take medicine every time she eats so that the fat in her food can be digested properly,” said Delaney’s mother, Courtney Elliot-Minor.
While Delaney tries to make the best of it during her stay at the hospital, playing outside is a rare treat.
“I’d rather be school playing with my friends,” she said.
“She’s really tough and she does well with it, but how do you explain to a 9 year old that she’s missing a field trip?” Elliot-Minor said.
Delaney was sad she couldn’t join the rest of the class on the field trip, so they came to her.
“Yes, we were so happy. We really actually wanted to come see Delaney,” said her classmate Callie Welty.
The kids arrived at the hospital, ate lunch, and went straight to the playground to play.
It was the first time Delaney had been outside in 4 days.
So on “Giving Thanks Day,” Delaney and her classmates had many reason to be grateful.
“Now they are all here and they are all playing with her and they all get to see a little bit of what her life is like so when she goes back to school they understand,” Elliot-Minor said.
Delaney will in the hospital for at least another week.