CHICAGO (WGN) — A boy born with a rare genetic condition left a Chicago hospital Tuesday after spending his entire life under care.
Two-year-old Francesco Bruno is affected by skeletal dysplasia, which prevents his rib cage from growing properly to accommodate his developing lungs. He’s had numerous surgeries to expand his chest under the care team at La Rabida Hospital.
It’s been his home for the last year and a half.
“For the last couple of weeks, every hour has felt like years,” said father Emanuele Bruno. “We’ve been waiting for him to come home for a long time, we’ve been trying to get him home for a long time, but it didn’t really materialize and it wasn’t really confirmed until very recently.”
Bruno, the youngest of seven children, finally went home Tuesday afternoon.
Skeletal dysplasia, sometimes referred to as dwarfism, is a term used for several hundred conditions that affect the formation and growth of a child’s bones and cartilage, according to Shriners Children’s.
Bruno has spent much of his life on a respirator and using a feeding tube. He’s only recently been able to start to talk and laugh out loud.
“It’s a delight to watch him, and it’s a delight to see him playing around with his iPad and grow and develop,” said Dr. Parag Shah at La Rabida Hospital.
Over the last several weeks, his parents have been getting detailed training and instructions on how to care for him.
“We do ask these families to do a lot at home,” Shah said.
His brothers and sisters, home from school Tuesday, eagerly awaited the arrival of their brother.
“They’re super happy. They’re thrilled, they’re at home making cards and waiting for the phone call to tell them that we are on our way,” mother Priscilla Bruno said.
The staff at La Rabida said this is a bittersweet moment for them. They have gotten to know Bruno very well over the last 18 months and told WGN they are happy he’s going home but sad he’s leaving.