This photo of little Michael Labuschagne smiling at his father was taken just moments after he miraculously woke up from a 5-day coma—and now, the wholesome picture has helped to finance the medical procedure that will save his life.
Michael was just 14 weeks old when he suddenly suffered from heart failure at his parents’ home in Bristol, England back in March.
Astonishingly, paramedics managed to save the baby boy and he survived the incident.
“He survived an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest which only 7% patients do!” says Michael’s mother Emma. “He was diagnosed with a cardiac fibroma [tumor] attached to the septum within the left chamber of his heart. This is so rare that only a handful of patients have ever been diagnosed with this is in the UK.”
Michael was in a coma for five days following his heart attack, but Emma managed to capture the heartwarming moment that Michael woke up from the coma and smiled at his father.
“It’s a moment I will cherish with every inch of my heart,” she told CNN. “To be really honest, it’s got to be the happiest moment of my life. He is a living miracle, and we have never felt prouder of him.”
Michael’s parents were then told that the boy’s best chance of survival would be to get the tumor removed at Boston Children’s Hospital, which—in addition to being ranked the best pediatric hospital in the world—employs a team of surgeons who have already successfully completed this operation several times in the past.
Since the condition is so rare, no surgeon in the United Kingdom is capable of conducting the surgery. So rather than taking their chances with putting Michael on a heart transplant list, the Labuschagnes launched a GoFundMe page last month to finance their son’s transportation to Boston and his $147,000 (£116,000) operation.
After Michael’s heart-melting smile was featured on international news outlets, the campaign surged past its original goal and raised more than $253,000 (£197,000) for his care.
“We never dreamt we would be in this situation in such a short space of time. We are still in shock and coming to terms with what has happened,” Emma wrote on the campaign page. “Our original GoFundMe target only reflected the cost we were quoted for Michaels operation. Now we have more than enough to cover any unexpected medical care, travel, accommodation, any ongoing care and return visits.
“We honestly don’t know how we can thank you all. This has lifted a massive weight from our family and we can proceed with Michaels operation as early as February!!!” she added. “We have stopped actively fundraising now we have exceeded our target. Any additional donations after all of Michael’s costs have been covered will be donated to another family in a similar situation.”
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