CHICAGO – When Eugene and Nermin Petrus came on vacation to the United States with their son, they were looking forward to having a grand time as a young family.
NDJ World | Published: Sep 05 2012 Lifestyle
And from every indication that’s exactly how their stay in the US was shaping up to be. But just a few days before their holiday ended, tragedy struck the Petrus family.
Suddenly and without warning their one year old son collapsed.
Rescue teams arrived swiftly an determined the 1 year old was critical. He was airlifted to the Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, where doctors determined little Daniel needed a new heart.
As by miracle, nine days later, Daniel got his new heart from an American child.
“He suddenly just collapsed,” said Daniel’s dad Eugene (28). “Even though he has never been sick before.”
Daniel’s mom (23) recalls the tragic moments and says she expected to return home without her son.
Doctors at the hospital decided to perform an emergency operation on Daniel. He received two artificial hearts and was kept in artificial sleep.But by miracle, a donor heart became available for Daniel from a young child. Daniel was rushed into the surgery room was more. His rib cage was completely opened and nine hours later, the heart of the young child was beating strong in Daniel’s chest.
Daniel must still take a handful of medication to prevent his body from rejecting his new heart but he’s improving every day.
“He’s already sitting up and listening,” said dad Eugene, who fainted at the hospital from the stress and anxiety of his son’s ordeal.
“Because of that child, Daniel now can continue his life!”
Eugene said that he intends to pay back in full the cost for the operation of his son and his extended stay.
Eugene’s brother, Simon, who owns a beauty shop in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, has already come to his brother’s rescue.
He handed Eugene his entire savings account, sold his car and told his brother that money he makes at his shop will go to paying off the hospital bill.
“By working hard and saving hard, we will have paid back every penny by next year,” said Simon.
“I will never desert my brother, even if that means I am for millions in debt.”
On October 20th, doctors at the children’s hospital will decide if Daniel is allowed to fly home to the Netherlands still this year or if he’ll have to wait till next year.
“We aren’t sure how long Daniel will live with his new heart,” Simon says honestly. “But every new day is one more!”
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