Ahead of his second birthday, singer-host Saab Magalona and her husband, fellow Cheats vocalist Jim Bacarro, released a moving tribute to their firstborn son and “miracle boy,” Pancho.
Ahead of his second birthday, singer-host Saab Magalona, with her husband, fellow Cheats vocalist Jim Bacarro, released a moving tribute to their firstborn son and "miracle boy," Pancho.
In her latest vlog uploaded on Wednesday, Saab dove deep into the "origin story" of Pancho, chronicling their little fighter's journey as a premature baby to a healthy and happy toddler.
Everyone probably knows by now that in February 2018, Saab and Jim lost Pancho's twin sister, Luna, after her heart stopped beating at 30 weeks and six days, and that the emergency operation that followed to try and save their surviving child had left the mother and son in critical condition.
However, the parents were told that Pancho also wasn't expected to last the night.
"After we had said goodbye to our baby girl Luna, the doctors advised Jim to take me to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) so that we could say goodbye to Pancho. They said he looked like he wasn't going to last the night," recalled Saab. "But like a superhero, Pancho fought."
According to Saab, Pancho had suffered a host of serious complications in the NICU: he had ventriculitis, the inflammation of ventricles in the brain; pulmonary hypertension, a condition of increased blood pressure within the arteries of the lungs, which made it hard for him to breathe; sepsis, a condition caused by the body's response to an infection; and grade four intraventricular hemorrhage, which is severe bleeding in the brain. At just 17 days old, their eldest son had to undergo brain surgery.
After 58 days in the hospital, Pancho was finally discharged. And following a month of no fluid build up in his brain, he underwent another brain surgery to have his shunt removed.
"Pancho handled it like a champ," remarked Saab.
Since then, "We've gone through a number of therapists and doctors, trying to find the best fit for our family. We were told that early intervention was key to give Pancho the best quality of life.
"Even as he turned one, Pancho wouldn't make eye contact with us, or follow objects with his eyes. We did all the tests that showed no problems with his eye structure at all, but his brain injury may have affected his vision. Doctors said that he was possibly blind, and just as Jim and I were slowly trying to accept it, he suddenly followed a toy with his eyes. Then he started reaching for it. We were [also] told he would not have any motor skills, possibly not even being able to roll over. Then he rolled over and over and over and over and over."
Saab went on: "At first, superheroes think that their newfound powers are a curse. But it’s only because they're not done figuring it out for themselves. Pancho continues to show cognitive skills that exceed expectations. He's made a number of his doctors cry. So when you see us, don't feel bad that we're going through a different path than most families. Remember: he wasn't even supposed to make it through the night."
"In comic books, there are multiverses and different timelines. In another one, my baby girl might be alive, and Pancho might be like every other almost-two-year-old. But then I wouldn't have gotten to know this Pancho of ours, the one who shows us, that God is listening and showing us His miracles through him; the one who gives the sweetest hugs. The Pancho who, like a superhero, saved me and my husband. We are happy--honored, in fact--to be on this superhero's timeline," they said.