DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – Little Doug Behl, the 8-year-old who just completed a long-shot surgery when the machine that pumps his heart got infected, got to spend the holidays in northeast Wisconsin with his family.

Truly a Christmas miracle for the Behl family.

“It changes your dreams,” said Little Doug’s father Douglas Behl. “Before we had simple dreams maybe a little more shallow like buying some land in the Black Hills or Montana or something but now you just want to have your son’s heart back.”

“So many people, some that I didn’t even know would message me and say this is the one thing I’m asking God for Christmas for you guys to be home,” said Little Doug’s mom Cami Behl.

Two years ago, the Behl’s found out that Little Doug has a heart that is much bigger than normal and needed to have a machine implanted in his body to help it pump.

After the machine got infected, Little Doug got really sick. Doctors at a hospital in southeast Wisconsin told the Behl family that there was nothing that could be done to help Little Doug and began preparing for life-ending care.

But the Behl’s wouldn’t accept that and looked for a second opinion.

“That’s what I kept telling the doctors and I think they thought I was just a crazy mom, but I said this kid literally has thousands of people praying for him,” said Cami Behl. “Seriously you’ve got to try this surgery because he just has so many people praying for him.”

“We just wanted to make sure we had done everything possible to give him his best chance,” said Cami.

Little Doug flew to Houston after doctors there said they would attempt a surgery that would save his life. Doctors warned the Behl’s that the surgery had a low chance of working.

Little Doug was in the hospital for 85 days and the Behl’s were in Texas for 115 days total.

Ultimately, the surgery was successful.

“I’ve asked him (Little Doug) before are you going to fight this,” said Doug Behl. “And he didn’t like that question so he proved to me that he is a fighter and it takes a fighter to get through what he has been through.”

Even though he’s back in northeast Wisconsin, the Behl’s said that Little Doug’s life is far from back to normal. However, he’s back playing his own video games and drawing pictures in his own apartment which is a big step forward. He will return to school on Monday and Cami will have to be with him at all times at school because she’s trained on how to use Little Doug’s heart pump machine.

Cami said that representatives from the machine manufacturer will eventually come to Northeast Wisconsin and train teachers at Little Doug’s school on how to use the machine so that she won’t have to be at school with him every day.

“I try to tell him every day how proud I am of him,” said Cami.