A suburban Chicago toddler with a rare genetic condition returned home with his family for the first time on Tuesday after spending his entire life in the hospital.
Francesco Bruno, who is 2 years and 10 months old, has skeletal dysplasia, which prevents his rib cage from growing properly and affects his lungs.
After undergoing several surgeries to expand his rib cage and intense rehab and therapy, Francesco was finally pushed out of La Rabida Hospital by his mother and father.
“We’re overjoyed and very, very happy and ready to start a new chapter, new adventure,” Priscila Zinnia Puente, Francesco’s mother, told FOX32 Chicago as the family carried Francesco into their car.
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Francesco returned to the family’s Oak Park home, where his six older siblings were waiting to celebrate his arrival.
“For the last couple of weeks, every hour has felt like years,” Francesco’s father, Emanuele Bruno, told WGN-TV, adding that the family has been waiting a long time for this moment.
Francesco’s parents have spent the last couple of weeks receiving training on how to care for their son at home.
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Hospital staff said that while they’ll miss Francesco, they are ultimately happy to see him begin a new chapter in life.