Joy Break: Infant With Heart Tumor Wakes Up After 5 Days in Coma, Smiles at Dad

By Nancy Flory Published on October 29, 2019

When we turn on our television or smart phones we are bombarded with news that brings us down. Where are all the good stories? They’re still there. Here’s one that we hope will bless you.

14-week-old Michael Labuschagne woke up after a 5-day coma and recognized his daddy. He smiled from ear to ear. “It’s a moment I will cherish with every inch of my heart,” Emma Labuschagne, Michael’s mother, 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 was born December 4, 2018, in the U.K. He was by all accounts a healthy baby. Then, at 14 weeks old, he suddenly stopped breathing. His daddy performed CPR on Michael until paramedics arrived.

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Doctors put Michael in a medically induced coma for 5 days. They told Michael’s parents that he may never wake up and if he did, he’d never be the same baby. Michael had a rare 2-inch heart tumor called a cardiac fibroma. Worse, doctors told the Labuschagnes that no doctor in the U.K. had the expertise to perform the intricate heart surgery Michael needed.

Then they discovered Boston Children’s Hospital in the United States. The hospital’s heart tumor program has a 100% success rate over the past 10 years.

“We researched the hospital and specifically the cardiac surgeons, Dr. (Pedro) del Nido and Dr. (Tal) Geva,” said Emma. “They have … an exceptional reputation. From this moment, we knew that we had to try and make this journey.”

The surgery is not cheap. Emma received an estimate of $147,000 for the procedure. She started a GoFundMe page and donations began pouring in. As of Monday, the fund page has raised over $225,000. “We are completely overwhelmed with the love and support we have been shown,” the family wrote. “Thank you so much guys, from the bottom of our hearts! Nothing could have ever prepared us for this incredible response.”

The family plans to travel to Boston in April for Michael’s surgery.

Michael Labuschagne - 500


Nancy Flory is an associate editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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