For almost three years, the only home Francesco Bruno has ever known is a hospital room.
The Chicago, Illinois toddler has been a patient in four hospitals located in three different states, and relying on a ventilator and feeding tube to survive.
In October 2022, all of that changed when Francesco was deemed strong enough to go home to be cared for by his family!
Francesco was born with a rare form of skeletal dysplasia, a life-threatening genetic condition. Because this condition affects his ribs, his lungs can’t grow at their usual rate. Sadly, his parents lost a child to this disease before Francesco was born. When they learned he, too, has the condition, they didn’t know if he would make it at all.
“They told us [when] he was going to be born, he was only going to live for 30 minutes,” said Francesco’s mother, Priscilla Bruno. “It’s really a miracle he’s with us today.”
Both Priscilla and her husband, Emanuele Bruno, had to take special classes to learn how to care for their boy at home. It’s a process they’ve been preparing for ever since they first came to La Rabida.
“The day that he first got admitted, those conversations were starting to happen between our case management and our nursing team to get them ready and prepared,” said La Rabida charge nurse Olivia Hayes.
The proud parents plan to take it “one day at a time” as they get Francesco settled in with his six other siblings at home.
“We’re very happy, nervous, tense, scared, overwhelmed, really happy, overjoyed,” Emanuele said. “It’s just a melting pot of emotions.”
This December, Francesco will celebrate his 3rd birthday! Since his family wasn’t sure he’d live at all, they’re taking every moment with him as the gift that it is.
Share this story to welcome Francesco home at long last!
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