Doctors diagnosed Joey Powling with a rare congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot, all while his mother Sarah was still pregnant with him.
When baby Joey turned 3 months old, he had to undergo open-heart surgery no small feat for any human, especially not a baby boy. The operation was a success. Five days after the surgery, Sarah decided to snap a photo of her little fighter. In the picture, you can clearly see the remaining scar of the large incision made down his chest to his stomach.
But what went viral wasn’t the little champion’s scars, it was the suave, debonair expression on his face.
Sarah’s brother saw the photo and shared it online. The image instantly went viral, as people commended the trooper on his too-cool-for-school attitude even after enduring something terrifying to most adults! Sarah says it was people’s kind comments about that photo that helped her get through the difficult time.
When he was in the hospital, I’d get on Facebook to see what people were saying. It helped get me and Joe [Joeys dad] through it all. 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,” she said.