QUANTICO, VA (WUSA9) - It's time to talk about a super-dad and his Instagram post that has gone viral. The post shows a photo of him and his son. If you look closely, both appear to have stomach tubes.
The dad is Robert Selby. His son is 3-year-old Chace. The two and mom live near Quantico in Virginia. Dad says he takes a selfie every year but this time around, Chace was old enough to start asking questions.
"He asked me, ‘Daddy, how come I have a G-tube and you don't?" said Selby. So the loving dad says he taped a tube to himself and snapped the photo.
Why the photo each year?
"Just to show that he's no different than any other kid out there in the world,” said Selby.
It's so important to Chace's parents, because Chace was born with a serious condition called, Tetraloogy of Fallot. It's a rare congenital heart defect that for Chace, made it difficult for him to breath. He's already undergone two open heart surgeries and needs the gastrostomy tube to eat.
He may need to have a third open heart surgery when he gets a little older. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says the heart defect occurs in about five out of every 10,000 babies.
Late Night host, Jimmy Kimmel's son actually has the same thing. The comedian recently talked about the emotional experience on his show.
"More doctors and nurses and equipment come in and it's a terrifying thing,” said Kimmel on air, forcing back tears.
"That brought me to tears,” said Selby, “because, what he was saying roughly the same story with us, man."
When Chace was born, Selby said a nurse caught the defect just before they were about to leave the hospital. Eternally grateful for this, Selby and Chace’s mother, Chantay Williams, just hope families going through the same thing will see the happy three-year-old now.
“When he was in the hospital through the long nights, long hours, you know, stressed-out, I was online and I found somebody's story that was uplifting to us … to know that there child was just like ours and now theirs is 10-years-old and 15-years-old, they're doing well. If our story can impact just one person, then we feel like we done our job. You know, to just let them know that everything will be okay," said Selby.
Funny side-note, Selby said he recently posted the photo to a children’s site and that’s when it went viral, but it’s actually old. Selby said he took the picture around Chase’s 3rd birthday, which was last October.
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