Baby boys battle a rare congenital heart condition


SALISBURY, Md. – Sunday, December 6th, Roadie Joe’s will host a benefit dinner for two young boys, Owen McPhail and Julian Helton, who were both born with the same congenital heart defect. The families tell 47 abc, they’re overwhelmed with the out pouring of love and support they’ve already received.

“2020 has been a rough year for everyone and then to throw some hardships in the mix for these two families is difficult,” says Michael McPhail, Uncle of Owen McPhail.

The McPhail’s and the Helton’s have been friends for years. But 2020 would bring them closer than they would have ever imagined after both families newborns were diagnosed with a congenital heart defect at birth.

“The families have really leaned on each other, their support group has been Ken’s support group and vice versa,” says Andrew Helton, Uncle of Julian Helton. Both families pitching in whether it be mowing the lawn, watching each others kids, really anything to help.

Owen’s aunt, Michelle Twilley says, “however we can help to support them so that they can manage everyday, work , and activities and make sure that Owen and Mason their other little guy are getting everything that they need.”

The families say, Owen and Julian have both been through numerous medical procedures since they were born. Julian spent the first 41 days of his life in the hospital.

“We monitor his blood oxygen level, his heart rate twice a day, we weigh him twice a day, we keep track of all his feeds,” says Ken Helton, Julian’s father.

However, both of their journey’s are far from over. McPhail says, “these boys will most likely need a heart transplant at some point in their life, so it’s going to be a long road for both of them.”

The owner of Roadie Joe’s, Jeremy Norton, is close friends with the families, and agreed to host a benefit dinner to raise money for medical bills and also raise awareness. “The one thing I love about our community is that it rallies when people need support,” says Norton.

Helton also says, “for me being the parent, I just want to spread awareness, and this is probably the easiest, probably the best way to do it.”

If you are unable to dine in on Sunday, you can still get takeout if you’d like to show support. And if you’re interested following their journeys, you can go to their Facebook pages, OwenStrong for Owen and MustardSeed for Julian.

The benefit dinner will be held this Sunday at Roadie Joe’s from 11 to 4 p-m. 50% of the proceeds go to each family, and you can also donate to the families on venmo @Heart2HeartSBY.

Categories: Local News, Maryland, Top Stories