Isabelle's Story

Isabelle Ellis was born in February of 2005 with a complex set of heart defects that made her chance of survival non-existent without a series of life-saving surgeries, the first of which was performed on Isabelle in that March. The surgeries gave us hope for her life and gave us tremendous hope for her future. As Isabelle grew she required additional procedures and a tight regimen of medications. Isabelle flourished and blossomed into a warm, loving and playful child. Her spirit was kind and gentle. She loved people and animals passionately. In August of 2008 and at the young age of 3 years and 6 months Isabelle went in for her final operation and she never came home. For over 100 days she struggled through a long list of complications related to her surgery. Isabelle was dubbed the "Warrior Princess" by the hospital staff, who witnessed her strength, beauty and spirit. We clung to the hope that she could pull through but her heart started to fail. Isabelle was placed on an organ donor list for a new heart and we hoped and prayed that a donor heart would come in time; however the donor did not come and Isabelle passed away. In December of 2008 we laid Isabelle to rest in her hometown of Eudora, KS. She fought valiantly for life, but her tired body had taken enough. She survived much more than any doctor had expected and she made her parents proud. The hospital staff that knew her stated that she was one of the most popular patients to ever be on their unit (the CICU at St Louis Children's Hospital). Isabelle's joyful spirit lives on in the hundred's of people that gave us support and prayers.

In 2009, we partnered with CharitySmith to form a Memorial Fund called the Isabelle Ellis Heart Of a Princess Eternally (HOPE) Fund whose goal is to memorialize Isabelle and give hope back to the world. It is our sincerest desire that Isabelle's spirit live on through this fund and that it continue to grow and positively impact as many lives as possible. Specifically, the fund will partner with other grass-roots "heart" organizations, help guide and direct other families towards information, foster development in the nursing community and raise awareness about Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) and the importance of Organ Donation.

You can read more about Isabelle's story and her fund at:

Chris & Amanda Ellis