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The story of Lela Kelton

An accurate diagnosis can sometimes be the difference between life and death, as the Kelton family found out. “When Lela was five days old, we received a call from our doctor that she had a rare genetic disorder,” said Dawn Kelton, Lela Kelton’s Mom. “We were very scared and felt helpless when we found out. It’s such a rare disorder that at the time our doctor couldn’t provide us with much information.”

Later, Lela was diagnosed with MCADD, an inherited metabolic disorder. “She has problems breaking down fat to use as an energy source,” Dawn said. “She can become very ill if her body’s energy demands exceed her energy intake.”

Lela’s prognosis is excellent because she received treatment prior to decompensation. Prior to identification by expanded newborn screening, 29% of undiagnosed patients died during first decompensation.

The Kelton family tried to stay strong through it all. “We met Faith Hartzell and her family in the toy room. Watching their family and the way they joined together inspired us to be strong.”

Today, Lela is 5 years old. She loves watching dancing with the stars jr, eating fettuccine alfredo and cheering for the Cardinals!

“We had great care at St. John’s!” Dawn said. “We have been hospitalized on Christmas Eve and Easter. Each time they made sure we had plenty of things to do!”

Do you have a miracle child that was treated as HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital? Facebook message us or email and tell us your story! #miraclemondays