There’s nothing more exciting than becoming a parent. No one wants their baby to grow up too fast yet new moms and dads can’t wait until their child achieves different milestones. One of those…smiling. Although some babies smile right after birth, doctors say it’s “only gas.” Even then, it’s a special moment.
Now imagine if you had a baby who couldn’t smile. Even worse, that child couldn’t smile due to a major heart defect. That was the case with one precious boy named Theodore “Teddy” Nelson. Not only was he born with only half a heart but for whatever reason, it prevented him from smiling.
Loving parents faced a difficult road
Whether Teddy had a half or complete heard didn’t matter to his mom and dad. In their eyes, he was perfect. But they were also realistic, knowing their baby would have to undergo several surgeries to help him live a relatively normal life.
Trouble with the second surgery
This sweet boy had already gone through one open-heart surgery and was scheduled for a second. Unfortunately, that didn’t come without complications. During the operation, he suffered a stroke. That’s when his mom, Alexandria, explained that the doctors didn’t know if he’d ever be able to smile.
A small glimmer of hope
Alexandria said, “We weren’t sure the connections were there in the brain to allow a smile to show up on his face. It really gave us a huge glimmer of hope for the future that he’s able to overcome these obstacles.” Simply put, the doctors said they weren’t sure he’d smile — not that he wouldn’t.
He surprised them all
Already, Teddy had been in the hospital for more than six months and had endured several surgeries on his heart. Even after suffering a stroke, at six months old, he did what no one was sure he could do. He turned to look at his mom and dad and gave them the biggest and sweetest smile ever.
We’re talking big
This wasn’t just a little smile but one that spread from one side of his face to the other. This little guy had gone through so much yet he did the unthinkable. Born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, Teddy had his first operation when he was just 15 minutes old. There’s no doubt, this kid’s a fighter.
He has a full support team
Of course, along with Teddy’s fighting spirit, he has his parents and a team of incredible doctors and nurses by his side all the way. So, when he finally smiled, everyone was shocked but not surprised. Thanks to quick thinking parents, they captured it on video.
Sharing Teddy’s gorgeous first smile on social media, now others can show their love and support. He’s so adorable, people all over the world have fallen in love with this sweet baby. Alexandria said when she and her husband, as well as Teddy’s big sister are in his room, he lights up.
While Teddy still has more surgery in his future, the family hopes it won’t be long before they can bring him home.
See the heart-warming video of him smiling below.
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