In 1969 a baby boy was born and abandoned in Vietnam during our US/Vietnam conflict. Found, saved and cared for, by a group of nuns in an all-girls orphanage he was adopted by the Lynn & Donna Elling family as their 5th child. They named him Tod Tien Elling.
The Elling family had 2 biological daughters and 2 adopted sons when Tod completed the family unit in 1973.
Due to the large spread in Elling children ages their oldest daughter, Cindy, was then married with a son the same age Tod. Thus, Uncle Tod and Nephew Patrick, both 3 then, have grown up together like brothers. Same schools, same teams, same friends, etc. Now grown, with their own wives and 2 children each, Tod and Pat remain close as do their families.
Tod has never been too sick to work or help anyone with a project– ever! This January, however, he was struck by something that started robbing him of all his energy and strength. He “fought” through it and kept working and going to classes until he could no longer get out of bed
Tod has Hepatitis B, which his doctors say he has had since birth that is now active and attacking his liver! There is no cure or option for Tod other than a liver transplant, which is a wait and hope game!
Tod & his wife Jo are now staying at sister Cindy’s house near the University of Minnesota Hospital.
To help offset the loss of Tod’s income, we have created a “go fund me” account on his Caringbridge.org and hosted a BENEFI FUND RAISER on 4/29 at Vannelli’s in Forest Lake which was amazing!
This Caring Bridge site will help the Elling family facilitate updates to everyone “globally” and allow for anyone to share this journey with them. We welcome your prayers and swears!
Thursday April 26th, Tod was implanted with a cadaver donated liver. The wait from diagnosis to donor offer was about 4 weeks, which was faster than normal, due to the speed at which Tod’s liver was failing. Following an 8 hour surgery, his new liver began functioning almost immediately.
His donor was a 48 year old female whose loss of life tragedy awarded Tod Elling a new “gift” of life, which again highlights the importance for each of us to be donors on our licenses.
Tod’s recovery, so far, has been miraculous, per his University of Minnesota medical staff.
He will be inpatient 2 weeks then reside near the University , for daily labs, at sister Cindy’s home for the next 2-3 weeks.
Full recovery without complications, can take a year or longer, presenting his family with continued financial needs without Tod’s paycheck. In addition, Tod will be on very expensive anti-rejection medication for the rest of his life. Continued updates and the opportunity to support and send messages to Tod and his family can be found on the www.Caringbridge.org site then search by name; Tod (one d) Elling.