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'Miracle Child' Fights Back From Congenital Heart Defect

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DURHAM — Paul and Jada Sands call Maison their miracle baby . He recently had his fourth openheartsurgery, and he is not even two years old.

"We knew it was going to be a long road, but we wanted to give him a chance and we did. We just didn't know there'd beso many bumps in the road," says his mother.

Maison has a rare congital heart defect, and has spent nearly half his life at DukeChildren's Hospital and HealthCenter.

"He's defied all the odds on all he's done," says Paul. "When Maison's doing bad,the doctors come in and say they'reworried and it's not looking good. Next day, you come in here and he's beat it again."

"Day by day, you take big steps. It's like ten steps forward and then ten back. You never know what's going to happen," says Jada.

The couple says Maison's illness has taken a toll emotionally and financially, butthey have come to rely on the support of friends and relatives. These days, the doctors and nurses are more likefamily. And while Paul and Jada know it will not be easy, they believe Maison has the heart to beat the odds.

"He's a tough little fellow. He's a fighter, definately a fighter," his father says.

"He's my life I'd give up anything for him. Anything."

"He gives us strength too, because if he didn't have the will to live, he wouldn't be here. He's got the strength,wecan't give up on our Maison," says Jada.

If all goes well, the family hopes to go back home to Greenville in about a month.


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