National News

Family hopes story will shed light on congenital heart disease

Posted February 9, 2018 12:32 p.m. EST

— As congenital heart disease awareness week winds down, one local family is hoping their son's story will help shed light on the disease.

Little Beckham Collins has spent nearly half of his life in the hospital. The 7 month-old has spent about as much time in the hospital as he has at his own home. He's confined to his McDonough home because of the flu outbreak and almost no one is allowed near him.

His parents, Dustin and Kelsey Collins, say it's hard to tell his family members no when they want to spend time with him.

"We're not allowing family and friends over right now," says his father Dustin. "He already has a weakened immune system. If he were to get the flu, it would not be good news. It's hard to say no to grandparents and aunts and uncles. We're definitely family-oriented and we love to share our kids with our family."

Beckham has spent most of 2018 at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. The Collins' wanted to visit family in Texas but had to end the trip early after Beckham came down with a nasty cold.

Complicating Beckham's recovery is the fact that he was born with a weak heart. Doctors only discovered it a few days before he was born. The family spent 28 days in the hospital by his side.

"There were a few days where we thought it was over," said Beckham's mother Kelsey. "It was awful to see him like that. It was scary."

Beckham is back home now and continuing to get back to his everyday routines but the constant threat of the deadly flu season has changed everything.