Allow me to introduce one extraordinary little warrior.
His name is Joey, and I just met him at Boston Children's Hospital this morning. Mere moments before I arrived, his nurses had removed his NG tube, so he was feeling pretty fantastic.
Joseph James was named for two of his great grandfathers - PaPa and PopPop were both Korean and World War II veterans, so we took a photo with his Great Papa's hat. His warrior spirit comes straight from his namesakes!
Joey's nearly four months old now, but his parents have known about his heart condition since his mom was just 21 weeks pregnant. He loves nothing more than snuggling in close with his mama like this.
He's gearing up for a big day on Tuesday - he's scheduled for the surgery his family has been waiting for him to have for months.
He was born at about 7 lbs and his mama was telling me that they'd hoped he'd be able to go home to grow and get stronger before the surgery, but it didn't happen that way.
He's such a happy little 11 lb guy now, though!
His mama is a nurse for her work, but she's needed to take a lot of time away from her job to be by Joey's side these last few months.
He definitely appreciates having her close. I know his big siblings and his daddy wish he and his mama could come home to Rhode Island soon.
There were only a few moments while I was there when Joey had a little fuss - but that pouting lip was just too perfect.
Holding mama close.
I love this one of his toes in mama's hand.
Joey's just the sweetest little guy you could imagine.
And if you're touched by his story and want to support his family through this tough time, a friend set up a Go Fund Me for them - it's linked here. Any donation you can make will help, as Joey has many surgeries ahead.
And I leave you with this beautiful boy's amazing smile.
We'll all be holding you in our hearts on Tuesday, Joey!