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Graham Elliot’s Newborn Son Hospitalized for Six Days

09/07/2012 at 03:00 PM ET
Jedediah: Before and after – Courtesy Graham Elliot

On this season’s MasterChef, judge Graham Elliot has been busy putting home chefs through some grueling contests.

But at home, he’s been facing his biggest challenge: staying strong while his newborn son was in the hospital for six days.

A week after Jedediah Lindsay was born on Aug. 25, he had to be rushed to the emergency room.

“He had a fever of 100.5 and the doctor said, ‘You’ve got to take him to the ER for anything over 100,’” Elliot, 35, tells PEOPLE. “We expected it was going to be nothing, but his fever kept going up.”

Doctors had the baby boy undergo a series of tests — including an ultrasound, spinal tap and echocardiogram.

“They ran every test imaginable and they all came back negative,” shares Elliot. “To see your kid hooked up to so many things, it’s tough to stay positive. But the hardest thing [was] my wife Allie and I spent every hour of every day for the last six days in that hospital room and his eyes would open for maybe five minutes out of every 24 hours. There was a lot of crying and breakdown moments.”

Fortunately, doctors at Hope Children’s Hospital eventually determined the newborn was suffering from a viral infection and, after going 24 hours without a fever, discharged Jedediah Thursday. “We’re incredibly relieved and hope it’s finished,” says the Chicago-based chef.

Now that his nightmare is over, Elliot wants to thank everyone for their help.

“I can’t say enough about how grateful I am for all the support,” he says. “It’s a private matter, but at the same time you start looking for support any way you can. My Tweet asking for prayers and thoughts opened the floodgates and I realized how much people care even if they don’t know you personally. I feel like I owe everybody for the positive vibes.”

While the exhausted dad is happy to be home and reunited with Jedadiah’s big brothers Conrad, 23 months, and Mylo, 5, he admits to an extreme case of nerves about his youngest.

“We want him to be the boy in the bubble and not let him out for the next year,” says the chef. “We’re extra guarded and going to be super-protective until his immune system gets built up.”

The MasterChef finale airs Monday, Sept. 10 at 9 p.m. on FOX.

– Liza Hamm

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Showing 20 comments

Kate on

What a pretty baby! I love those cheeks!

Isabel on

How scary! Glad to hear he’s doing better. He’s a beautiful baby.

Sarah S. on

Those cheeks are definitely kissable! I am glad to hear he’s home now and doing better!

Anonymous on

I went through that with my son. Nine days he was in NICU with group b strep pneumonia, even though I had tested negative. Toughest time ever. So glad baby is doing fine!

kjc on

That brings tears to my eyes. I am so happy that Jedidiah is home from the hospital and doing well. How scary that must have been.

When my son was born I lived in constant fear that he would get sick, I too wanted him to live in a bubble. I’m so thankful that at 16 months old he hasn’t had more than sniffles. I lost numerous pregnancies, and was terrified of losing my baby. I know I never had to deal with him being sick, but I understand the fear of it.

Well wishes for the Elliot family!

Mary S. on

So happy to hear Jedidiah is home. He is so adorable! I do have to say in the picture to the right, he is doing that thing with his face and head that Chef Graham does when he tastes the contestant’s food. :o)

Julianna on

Wow, that was scary. I’m glad baby Jedediah is doing better.

Grace2 on

Oh no! I am so sorry to know they endured this, but am happy that baby is ok. Sweet little boy.

Anonymous on

Poor baby Jedediah. How sad that he’s only a newborn and has already undergone a spinal tap. So glad he came through everything and I sincerely hope he continues to do better.

Anonymous on

How scary! What’s really sad is that, given he was only a week old, he probably contracted the infection in the hospital after he was born. Unfourtnately, stuff like that is becoming more and more common these days (not knocking hospitals at all. After knowing more than one person who has pulled through an illness or injury thanks to hospital care, Rather, I’m saying that often aren’t as “sterlie” as we’d like to think, and therefore hopsital birth sadly may not be as safe as we think!)!

All of that said, it appears (from the “before” picture in this article) that Jedediah was on oxygen (via nasula canula) during his ordeal. Seems odd that a baby would need oxygen for a viral infection, but then again I don’t know much about viral infections in newborns!

Anonymous on

Just to clarify, when I said it seems weird to me that they’d give a baby oxygen for a viral infection, obviously I meant an unspecified one who’s only symptom appears to be fever, like Jedidah had. Infections like RSV are another matter entirely, of course!

Susan Albert on

How scary, but I am happy to hear that your baby is doing well. He is really adorable.

Liz on

A valid point. I dont know what virus the baby had. Sometimes oxygen is given at a low rate to provide a little support while the body is working to heal. Women having a c-section (and during labor sometimes) are also given oxygen even though they are awake and alert and technically not sick. It’s an extra measure so the baby doesn’t have to work so hard.

Sandy on

would you look at that cutie pie! just want to kiss those adorable cheecks. Enjoy your little one.

ForeverMoore on

What a sweet little guy!!! I love Graham, he seems like such a cool person. I can’t even imagine how scary that must have been…I had to take my 9 month old to get his blood drawn yesterday and I think it was harder for me than it was for him. It’s so tough to see a little tiny baby go through that. So happy that their little one is ok!

Amy on

What a beautiful little chunk monkey! I am so glad to hear he is ok. I know that had to be an awful feeling.

Anonymous on

Liz- Good point, and I’m thinking that’s the most likely reason.

Anonymous on

So happy he is doing alright, and boy is he a cutie pie.

I also agree that the use of oxygen for a viral infection is a little odd. Being in the pediatric medical field I can say we don’t usually jump to oxygen therapy unless it’s really needed, but nonetheless I’m glad he is better.

Jennifer on

A spinal tap for a climbing fever? A little much in my opinion.

LL on

Jennifer, newborns cannot fight infection like we can. Their immune system is too immature. A lumbar puncture was appropriate in this case when looking for causes of infection. More than likely, he caught a respiratory (cold) virus from his older brothers which could warrant the use of oxygen. Babies have a trachea the size of our pinky, which can compromise their breathing quickly if there is any infection present. What a common cold to us means is inconvenience, to a newborn, it can be much worse.

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