LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – Joey Powling Jr is being called “ridiculously good-looking surgery baby” and “a baby Bruce Willis”. But the story of Baby Joey will bring a smile to your face for other reasons. Mother Sarah Powling took the photo after the family tried to battle Joey’s condition Tetralogy of Fallot, or TOF. Now the photo is helping raise national awareness about TOF.
Shortly after Sarah was pregnant, she learned that Joey had TOF. Joey’s great-uncle, Dan Phelps, wrote in the Lowell Sun that Sarah immediately during her pregnancy took steps to help Joey. “Luckily, Joey was diagnosed while my niece, Sarah Powling of Dracut, was pregnant, and a plan was put in place to deal with the problem. That plan included open-heart surgery when he was three months old”, Phelps tells news.
Joey would be born in July. Doctors later confirmed their initial diagnosis as a “condition known as Tetralogy of Fallot, or TOF, which is, basically, a hole in the heart (although there is more to it than that)”.
Sarah tells news that she didn’t take the picture for any initial reason than to document the scar. “I took that photo because it was the first time they uncovered the whole scar. Joe was playing with him, and I just wanted to get a picture of the scar, and he started smiling.”
Phelps tells the Lowell Sunthat, shortly after her brother, Matt Tassone, posted the picture online, Sarah was a bit unsure about the reaction.
Now Sarah hopes that the picture will raise attention to TOF. Phelps tells news “Though amused with little Joey’s sudden online fame and support, Sarah and Joe also hope it translates into awareness of TOF. They are having bracelets made for TOF awareness that say ‘Joey hearts you’ and ‘Don’t turn blue, get a clue,’ a reference to the fact that babies with TOF often experience extreme blue coloring”. For more about the story, and how to contact Phelps, click HERE.