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Miracle baby turns three

Sylvie Paillard [email protected] The baby that captured the community's heart three years ago is about to undergo one last surgery to fix his own heart.

Sylvie Paillard

[email protected]

The baby that captured the community's heart three years ago is about to undergo one last surgery to fix his own heart.Several weeks before his birth on May 1, 2003, Emilio Razzano was diagnosed with a hypoplastic left-heart and required immediate open-heart surgery. It would be the first of a three-part procedure that will soon be complete. "Since September, he's been in need of his heart surgery," said Emilio's mother Pam Razzano. "We've been kind of holding off waiting for him to grow as big as he can until we're at this point where he needs his surgery sort of right away."

Emilio will undergo the final stage of his heart surgery in Edmonton on April 21. Razzano said she's hoping Emilio will be out of the intensive care unit (ICU) by May 1 so he can celebrate his birthday with his entire family and with balloons, which is forbidden in the ICU ward.

"We'll hopefully have his birthday on the ward," she said.

Since his first surgery three weeks after his birth, Emilio has undergone countless medical procedures, doctor's appointments and emergency hospital visits. He has been close to death on several occasions, but time and again he has displayed the courage and physical strength to survive.

The family now hopes that the last procedure will result in the end of Emilio's lifelong sacrifices.

"He's been limited to not being able to go to daycare, not being able to play with other children, not being able to do things with other children in the neighbourhood because he's been so fragile and we've been waiting all this time for surgery," said Razzano. "He has to stay healthy we don't really have any other choice but to not include him in all those things, so that's been hard for him."

The latest procedure will mean that Emilio's six-year old brother Marcus must be taken out of school and their parents must temporarily shut down their business, Lil Enzo's Restaurant.

Their restaurant will reopen in two months, and thanks to the community's generosity, the temporary shut down will not cause a crippling financial burden.

"It's a huge stress relief for us," said Razzano. "When we're sitting at the hospital with our son, we can have a little bit of peace of mind. We can commit our whole selves to our family."

Ever since Emilio's birth, there have been numerous fundraisers organized by a variety of family friends. The next fundraiser is on April 22 when the community is asked to help with a bottle drive from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information call Mara Williams at 604 898-2705. Residents can also donate to the Emilio Razzano account at the Squamish Bottle Depot on Queens Way.

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