Baby Luca thriving after life saving surgery
FOR the first time in nearly two years, Laura and Tony Hurley had a full night's sleep on January 24.
Before that, they slept on a knife's edge, on the alert for baby son Luca who suffered from trachea cardia, where his heartbeat would race to 300 beats a minute.
Born with a hole in his heart, one so large that surgeons had to operate on him at the tender age of five weeks, he contracted bronchiolitis that weakened his tiny body.
The open heart surgery went well, but in transit to the normal ward a line had to be removed which unexpectedly caused a massive bleed, according to his parents Laura and Tony.
"It took 45 minutes of CPR to save him, then 10 days on life support," Mrs Hurley said.
Little Luca suffered global brain injury as a result and now has cerebral palsy and cortical vision damage, a condition where his eyes can see, but his brain cannot register what he sees.
On January 24, he underwent heart surgery.
"The successful operation took nearly eight hours," said Mr Hurley.
"We waited with bated breath for him wake and when he did, he smiled.
"Then we knew he was okay and there was no further damage to his heart.
"We are over the moon.
"A huge weight has lifted from our minds.
"His cheeks are pink for the first time and his lips so red he looks like he's wearing lipstick," Mr Hurley laughed.
"We are so happy."
Luca turns two in May, but doesn't walk yet.
"He gets very frustrated," Mr Hurley said.
"He wants to be moving around, but we have to take things gently and slowly as his breast plate heals.
"His little body isn't ready for walking, but soon there will be no holding him back."
Last September, the people in the village of Cabarita opened up their hearts and wallets to raise money for Luca's weekly therapy.
They raised $20,000.
"We are blessed in having this beautiful little boy and in receiving such kindness from so many people," Mr Hurley said.