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Good news for little Ashton

7-month-old Ashton Phillips was facing heart surgery and his family couldn't find anywhere to stay in the Atlanta area.

ATLANTA — Ashton Phillips is a 7-month-old identical twin from Albany, Ga., and his doctors said several weeks ago that he could not wait until after the coronavirus pandemic to have desperately needed emergency heart surgery.

His parents said the outbreak meant they both were out of work and left them having a hard time finding a place to live near his doctors in Atlanta.

Both Ashton and his brother Peyton were healthy at birth, but doctors at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta found a problem with Ashton's heart a few months ago and said they would need to operate as soon as possible, calling it a high-priority case.

The surgery was scheduled for April 22, the pandemic notwithstanding, with the date not being moved.

Another problem facing the family was securing accommodations in the Atlanta area. Gov. Kemp's order in early April blocked "short-term vacation rentals" across the state, which literally left them nowhere to go.

"We had to move up here because this is where his cardiologist was. And it's been hard just living paycheck to paycheck," said little Ashton's father, Kristopher. 

Credit: Phillips family
Little Ashton Phillips in the hospital listening as his dad talks to him on FaceTime

While the family was in an Airbnb rental in the Atlanta area, they were afraid that the governor's restrictions would force them out. 

Thanks to the kindness of 11Alive's viewers, enough donations were raised to secure housing in order to give the family enough breathing room before little Ashton's surgery. 

Following his surgery, Ashton is doing well!

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, his family was only able to see him over FaceTime for the first 48 hours following the procedure, but he made marvelous progress after the procedure. 

Doctors are still watching him for possible post-operative complications, but everyone is hopeful for a reunion soon.


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