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Saab Magalona Recalls Son Pancho's Battles From Birth: 'Like a superhero, he fought'

This is their little fighter's origin story.
by Dyan Zarzuela
January 30, 2020
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If Saab Magalona-Bacarro’s #DailyPancho posts spark immense joy in you, you probably have an idea of how difficult this baby boy’s early days were. In a new vlog post, Saab dives deep into the “origin story” of Pancho, her and Jim Bacarro’s eldest child.

In February 2018, Pancho was born prematurely after his twin Luna’s heart stopped beating. The family lost Luna, and the emergency operation left Saab and Pancho in critical condition.

Saab said, “Jim kept going back and forth between us. After we had said goodbye to our baby girl, Luna, the doctors advised Jim to take me to the [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit] so that we could say goodbye to Pancho. They said it looked like he wasn’t going to last the night. But like a superhero, Pancho fought.”

Pancho had a host of serious, life-threatening complications. He had ventriculitis, the inflammation of brain ventricles; pulmonary hypertension, which made it hard for him to breathe; sepsis, which is caused by severe blood infection; and grade four intraventricular hemorrhage, which is severe bleeding in the brain. At just 17 days old, Pancho underwent brain surgery.

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He was finally discharged after 58 days in the hospital. After a month of no fluid buildup in his brain, he underwent another brain surgery to have his shunt removed. “Pancho handled it like a champ.”

At one year old, Pancho didn’t make eye contact or follow objects with his eyes, and doctors said his brain injury might have affected his vision. He was possibly blind. But one day, he suddenly followed a toy with his eyes, and he eventually started reaching for objects with his hands. 

Doctors also had concerns about his motor skills. They said he might not roll over—but he did, exceeding expectations once more. 

Turning two in February, Pancho is now the sweetest “Kuya Baby” to four-month-old Vito. Pancho continues to show cognitive skills and fight like a superhero. “So when you see us, don’t feel bad that we’re going through a different path than most families. Remember, he wasn’t even supposed to make it through the night.”

HUHU, our hearts!

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