GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – An eight-year-old boy from Green Bay who has captured the hearts of thousands in northeast Wisconsin arrived back in the Badger State after a successful life-saving surgery.
It started back in 2014 when Cami Behl had just delivered her son, who she affectionately calls ‘Little Doug’ in a bathtub. However, she quickly realized something was wrong.
“The paramedics got there and took him right away. They were able to revive him on the way to the hospital. They were able to get his heart beating again,” said Behl.
The paramedics from Station 8 in Green Bay saved Little Doug’s life that day and each first responder on the call will never forget that day.
“I still remember this, and all the guys can probably attest to it, driving to the hospital in the ambulance, we heard that first cry, and it was unbelievable,” said Cody Johnson, one of the paramedics.
The firefighters and paramedics would keep in touch with Little Doug through the years through social media. Some even attended his first birthday party.
Little Doug, now eight, has a heart larger than an adult, and Children’s Hospital implanted a mechanical pump. He is the youngest kid in the world to come home on one of these devices.
However, an aggressive infection attached to parts of the implant, putting his life in danger yet again.
Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee was preparing his parents for end-of-life care, but his parents would not give up. He was flown to Texas for a once-in-a-lifetime chance.
There, surgeons attempted to put in a completely new heart pump, something they’d never done with a child.
Behl knew her son’s chances of survival from the surgery were low, but they were never zero percent.
After successful surgery, Little Doug took time to recover, but he and his family arrived back in Green Bay on Friday, defying the odds again.
Local 5 News was there to capture the moment he arrived, smiling through all that he’s endured in his lifetime.
“Thank you for praying for me,” said Little Doug, thankful to be back in his hometown.
Little Doug says he’s excited to get back outside and play with his friends now that he is back in Green Bay.
Welcome home, Little Doug.