Fox News host Bret Baier had a story to share Friday that really mattered as he reported on the outcome of an operation undergone by his son, Paul, who was born with multiple congenital heart defects.
“Thank you for all of the thoughts & prayers. Paul’s procedure went great! Now he’s on the mend thanks to the Docs & nurses at @childrensnational,” Baier wrote on his Facebook page, sharing the message on other social media platforms as well.
“Paul is heading in soon,” he had posted on social media just prior to the surgery. “This is his 9th angioplasty plus 3 open (heart) surgeries & a stomach surgery — Paul’s 9 1/2 yrs old. He’s a total trooper & in great spirits w/ his fidget spinner.”
Paul’s life has been a battle from the start.
“A doctor told us Paul’s heart was extremely complex,” Amy Baier told NBC’s Today in 2014. “Blood was flowing the wrong way, there were two holes in Paul’s walnut-sized heart, and he had three other congenital defects. If Paul didn’t have complex surgery to restructure his heart, he wouldn’t make it.”
“That started our journey,” Bair would say in a 2011 interview with Parents.
“I’ll be honest with you: It’s daunting, and nothing like you’ve ever experienced as a parent, having to explain to your son why this is happening and assuring him that it’s going to be OK,” Baier said, recalling that in one instance, he held Paul as his son was being prepped for surgery.
“So he was in my arms as they were putting the anesthesia over his mouth, and that’s pretty tough. I’m really not sure how to prepare when it comes,” he said.
Baier made it clear he is grateful for the surgeries that have allowed his son to live a mostly normal life.
“If you looked at the playground, you would never be able to point at him as the kid who has had … open-heart surgeries and … angioplasties,” he said.
“For parents of healthy kids, every day is such a blessing. Sometimes when the kid throws the cereal on the wall or is being a real stinker, the experience we went through gives us a whole new perspective on how precious moments are. Taking the small things, the little laughter every day, right now kind of gets us through to the next stop,” he said.
Baier said Paul’s life also gives him context as he deals with the news of the day.
“This whole thing has also given me perspective about my job, going through policy and politics in Washington, D.C., to see the bigger picture. It does give me perspective on what’s more important,” he said.
Congenital heart disease affects one in 120 babies, although most cases are not as severe as Paul Baier’s condition.
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