GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Colby Elliott is more than just a 10-year-old with a love for drawing.
He is a fighter. Before his third birthday he had five open heart surgeries.
"He was born missing part of his heart. He has half a heart, and we knew that when I was pregnant with him and they told me that he probably wouldn't make it to birth, and if he was he would probably be too small to have open heart surgery,” said Sheila Elliott, his mother.
He made it and although he isn't able to run with the other kids, he has gained friends from around the country, especially at
“I mean we talk about heroes and I think Colby has really been an inspiration to our kids," said Trish Schriver, wellness teacher at the primary school.
After finding out about Colby through his videos with the American Heart Association, and two years of talking through Skype and letters, they finally got to meet in person.
"She kept telling us about how her students just loved Colby and they were just his biggest fans and I thought, Colby has fans, so we paid our own way up here and its just been the inspiration and the highlight of our trip," said Mrs. Elliott.
“Well we got to silly string the teacher and the kids decided to silly string me and I got them back after my can ran out," said Colby.
Through the Jump Rope for Heart campaign the students raised more than $30,000 and Colby came all the way from
"I see him as a gift and so I feel like I should share that gift with everyone else because he is a miracle," said Mrs. Elliott.
Most of all, he came to say thank you.
Eventually Colby will need a heart transplant but his mother said until that day comes, he will just keep living life as normal as possible.
Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.