Baby Brandon, blessed by Pope Francis, dies
MANILA, Philippines – Three-year-old Brandon Emmanuel Lao, who was blessed by Pope Francis at the Mall of Asia Arena, died Friday, January 23.
Brandon's mother, Gladys Precilla Lao, said her son died at 6:44 pm at the St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City, according to a GMA News report.
The Laos were the first family the Pope encountered – and blessed – when he entered the MOA Arena.
Brandon's deteriorating health was caused by a number of issues. He had a hole in his heart and pulmonary hypertension, and also had a severely damaged left lung.
In an earlier interview with Rappler hours after the meeting with Pope Francis on Friday, January 16, Gladys said, “I really wanted to say thank you and he said, 'Do not cry.' And then he was holding my face and telling me to stop crying…but the more I cried.”
Brandon needed a constant supply of oxygen from a tank and spent most of his days sleeping. His lips and finger tips were a ghastly shade of blue, a sign that his condition was not improving.
When the Pope started praying over Brandon, he woke up and started crying.
The Laos met the Pope during his "Encounter with Families" event, where a member of the Pope's security personnel motioned for Gladys and Brandon to be allowed forward into a position to meet Pope Francis. – Rappler.com