‘Like a superhero, Pancho fought’: Saab Magalona and Jim Bacarro share firstborn’s ‘origin story’

‘Like a superhero, Pancho fought’: Saab Magalona and Jim Bacarro share firstborn’s ‘origin story’
'We are happy – honored, in fact – to be on this superhero's timeline,' Saab says

MANILA, Philippines – Musicians Saab Magalona and Jim Bacarro shared the “origin story” of their superhero: their first born son Pancho.

Pancho was born in February 2018. But because of complications, Saab and Jim lost Pancho’s twin sister Luna. Since then, people have rallied behind Pancho as he healed and grew to become one of the internet’s most beloved babies.

In a new video shared on January 29, Saab told the story of Pancho’s miraculous recovery in detail, over clips of Pancho through the years.

Saab began by saying that after losing Luna, doctors performed emergency surgery on Pancho to try and save him – but advised his parents to say their goodbyes because he was unlikely to last the night.

“But like a superhero, Pancho fought,” Saab said.

In the weeks that followed, Pancho faced serious complications even as he was confined in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): ventriculitis, pulmonary hypertension, sepsis, and intraventricular hemorrhage – a serious bleeding in the brain that damaged some of his brain matter.

At just 17 days old, he underwent brain surgery, but was finally able to go home after a 58-day hospital stay.

“Like a superhero, Pancho is not like most kids,” Saab said, sharing that he had to undergo another major brain surgery after a month of being home “but Pancho handled it like a champ.”

Saab shared that even when Pancho turned one, he wouldn’t make eye contact or follow objects with his eyes. And while tests showed no problems with his eye structure, his doctors said his brain injury might have affected his vision and that he might be blind.

“Just as Jim and I were slowly trying to accept it, he suddenly followed a toy with his eyes. Then he started reaching for it,” Saab said.

As Saab went on, she shared how Pancho continued to surprise people.

“We were told he would have very limited motor skills, possibly not even being able to roll over, then he rolled over, and over, and over, and over, and over,” she said, adding that he continues to show cognitive skills beyond expectations, even making some of his doctors cry.

“So when you see us, don’t feel bad that we’re going through a different path than most families,” Saab said.

“Remember: he wasn’t even supposed to make it through the night.”

She ended the video by saying: “In comic books, there are multiverses and different timelines. In another one, my baby girl might be alive and Pancho might be like every other almost-two-year-old. But then I wouldn’t have gotten to know this Pancho of ours, the one who shows us that God is listening and showing us his miracles through him, the one who gives the sweetest hugs, the Pancho who, like a superhero, saved me and my husband.”

“We are happy – honored in fact – to be on this superhero’s timeline,” she said.

The video ended with text reading “In loving memory of Luna Isabel Magalona-Bacarro,” leading in to a series of Thank Yous to members of Saab and Jim’s families and household, Pancho’s doctors, and to those who continue to pray for him.

Pancho, now an older brother to Saab and Jim’s second son Vito, is set to turn 2 on February 8. – Rappler.com

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