Heartwarming pictures show the moment a baby boy regained consciousness after being in a coma for 5 days despite doctors fearing the worst.
The boy’s parents, Stuart and Emma Labuschagne, of Bristol in England, had resigned themselves to the possibility that their 10-month-old son, Michael, might never wake up again. However, to everyone’s surprise, the baby miraculously beat the odds and opened his eyes with a beaming smile.
Michael was rushed to the E.R. on March 16, 2019, after experiencing cardiac arrest. “In that moment I did not think Michael would make it through,” Emma recalled.
“At 14 weeks and three days old he went to bed like any other baby,” Emma added. But at 5 a.m. he had suffered heart failure. Words cannot begin to describe the pain we felt in that moment.” (1)
“We watched our baby breathless, gasping for air while his heart stopped and paramedics worked to save his life. I am so, so blessed to be here telling you that he survived. He survived an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest which only seven percent of patients do.”
In a last ditch attempt to save the baby’s life during his cardiac arrest, Michael, who was oxygen-deprived during the whole ordeal, was placed in an induced coma. It wasn’t until five days after his first admission at the hospital that his doctors gave the green light to reduce his sedative drugs in order to hopefully wake him up. On March 21, 2019, Michael not only woke up but he did so with a playful smile, while looking directly at his father, Stuart. In addition to the wonderful news, a brain scan revealed that Michael did not suffer from any brain damage.
Devastating Diagnosis: Heart Tumor
According to Boston Children’s Hospital, Michael suffers from the second most common heart tumor among children, called cardiac fibroma. While the majority of cardiac tumors in children are benign and unlikely to spread to other organs, the damage they can do to the heart alone is life-threatening.
Fibromas are often associated with irregular or quickened heart rate. In baby Mchael’s case, the cardiac fibroma caused his pulse to race dangerously fast, inducing cardiac arrest.
To help control his heart rhythm, the baby boy was fitted with a pacemaker after waking from his induced coma. Sadly, given his tiny size, the pacemaker rendered Michael immobile and unable to sit or support the weight of his own head.
“It does hold him back,” Emma explained. “It’s as big as the palm of my hand and it has sharp edges. Putting that inside a baby is quite uncomfortable for them. But he is amazing. You wouldn’t know looking at him that he is fighting this.”
Unfortunately, the miracle baby boy isn’t out of the woods yet. The pacemaker is unreliable because it’s struggling to read Michael’s heart rate, which makes it completely unreliable. “Every day is an unknown, until we can get his fibroma removed,” says Emma. (2)
Not Giving Up
The surgery Michael needs is not available in the United Kingdom, nor is it routinely funded by the British National Health Service (NHS).
To make things worse, the life-saving surgery is incredible expensive.
“Boston Children’s Hospital, ranked number one paediatric hospital in the world, has quoted us $147,000 which converts to approximately £116,000 for the procedure and we will need to pay for flights and accommodation.”
“The cardiac surgeons at Boston are the best cardiac surgeons in the world and they have done this operation several times. They are confident that they can drastically improve, or even cure, his condition by resecting the tumour.”
In order to save their baby’s life, Emma, a retail employee, and Stuart, a plumber, took matters into their own hands by setting up a GoFundMe page.
The funds raised would allow the family to travel to Boston in the United States for heart surgery. “My baby needs this operation to have a chance at living a normal life,” Emma explained.https://www.facebook.com/emma.labuschagne.9/videos/162650254926741/
To date, the fundraiser has far surpassed its original goal of US$147,000 goal by reaching an astounding US$249,960 and counting. “We have more than enough to cover any unexpected medical care, travel, accommodation, any ongoing care, and return visits,” Emma said.
“We honestly don’t know how we can thank you all,” the mom of three continued.
The family has since ceased all active fundraising, saying that “any additional donations after all of Michael’s costs have been covered will be donated to another family in a similar situation.”
“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,” she wrote. “Michael is going to Boston!”