LOCAL NEWS

Salt Lake City Boy With Cystic Fibrosis Finds Strength Through Murals Painted On Hospital Walls

Sep 24, 2019, 1:10 PM | Updated: 9:06 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A Salt Lake City boy has to fight for every breath every day – literally.

However, there’s something special in his life that helps him find strength.

Elliot Hales would rather be somewhere other than the hospital. Life for the 11-year-old has been a series of inhalers, pills and treatments.

Hales has cystic fibrosis, a disorder that damages the lungs and digestive system.

Thick, sticky mucus clogs his lungs and causes infections and breathing problems.

Chad Davis painted murals at Primary Children’s Hospital. He never dreamed that they’d one day help one of his own.

Chad Davis painted murals at Primary Children’s Hospital. He never dreamed that they’d one day help one of his own.

“This vest actually goes in there and vibrates to move the mucus so it kind of gets un-sticky,” his mother, Alta Hales, said about one of the medical devices Elliot uses.

It means difficult hospital stays.

“Being hooked up to a tube for three hours straight,” Alta said.

Elliot can’t leave the hospital room when he wants to and has to spend most of the time inside while admitted.

“It is not what I signed up for,” Alta said. “Stay in the hospital for two weeks and have a PICC line into his heart pumping serious antibiotics in there. That’s so hard.”

A couple of things help though: dolphins and coral reefs.

“You know, having a little magic out there. The kids love looking at that,” Alta said. “Having those bright, cheery murals makes a big difference in a stark place.”

Research shows that art in hospital settings help reduce stress during long hospital stays, according to data from Primary Children’s Hospital.

There’s another reason Elliot loves the murals so much, though. The artist is his great uncle, Chad Davis.

“This is the strongest kid I’ve ever known,” Davis said. “He’s had a lot thrown at him and he just rises like the phoenix.”

Elliott Hales, age 11, of Salt Lake City, has cystic fibrosis. The murals his uncle painted inspire him to stay strong during long hospital stays.

Elliott Hales, age 11, of Salt Lake City, has cystic fibrosis. The murals his uncle painted inspire him to stay strong during long hospital stays.

Davis paints sets for plays and movies. He did them for the film “127 Hours” about a mountaineer who cuts off his arm while trapped in a Utah canyon, which earned four Academy Award nominations.

“But I have to say painting murals is probably my favorite,” he said.

He started painting hospitals on a whim that turned into a mission.

“I got into a state of giving my heart to them,” Davis said. “One doctor came up years ago and he said, ‘Thank you,” and I said, ‘For what?’ and he said, ‘You provide the best medicine.’ He’s a miracle, that kid.”

Alta said, “He can just see, Uncle Chad is right there, loving all the kids – and me.”

Davis never planned to be an artist.

“I was going to be a rock star back in the day,” he said.

Elliot said, “He’s the best uncle you could get.”

As it turns out, according to his nephew, Chad is a rock star.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(Utah Highway Patrol)...
Josh Ellis

SLC firefighters battle 2-alarm fire near I-215 to SR 201 ramp

Firefighters responded to the area of Interstate 215 and state Route 201 due to a 2-alarm wildland fire Wednesday morning.
12 hours ago
(Spanish Fork City)...
Madison Swenson

Spanish Fork home catches fire after fireworks spark in outdoor garbage can

A Spanish Fork home sustained major damage Monday night after recently-discharged fireworks sparked a fire in a trash can that spread to the house.
12 hours ago
(Morgan County Fire & EMS/Facebook)...
Josh Ellis

One injured in Morgan County rollover crash

Authorities say one person was hospitalized after rolling their Jeep in a remote part of Morgan County.
12 hours ago
Sharon McMahon has one million ‘Sharon Says So’ Instagram followers. (Sharon McMahon)...
Candice Madsen, KSL TV

Woman behind ‘Sharon Says So’ podcast explains how we stop screaming at each other

Sharon McMahon is known as America's government teacher. Every day, she takes to Instagram, clearing up misinformation with straightforward facts. KSL NewsRadio's Boyd Matheson got some great advice from her about civility for our series, "A More Perfect Union."
12 hours ago
...
Candice Madsen, KSL TV

Why Utahns may need a refresher course in civics education

Civic knowledge is alarmingly low in Utah and across the country. Only nine states require a full year of civics or government studies, and 10 states have no requirement at all.
1 day ago
FILE PHOTO (Deseret News)...
Madison Swenson & Debbie Worthen, KSL TV

Dog dies after being found unattended in hot car

Officials with Salt Lake County Animal Services are reminding Utahns to not leave their dogs unattended in a hot car after one died Tuesday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Salt Lake City Boy With Cystic Fibrosis Finds Strength Through Murals Painted On Hospital Walls