“I love her.
I love her so much.”
That’s what a 4-week-old girl from the Dominican Republic told a grandmother as she held him tightly on a hospital bed, his eyes wide open and his ears perked up in excitement, as his family celebrated their first kiss.
For the next four weeks, the little boy’s family had no idea how the kiss could bring them so much joy and comfort.
But the joy that followed was not just the sight of the boy hugging his little brother.
It was a new feeling that the girl had never felt before, that was entirely unique to her.
The 4-month-old boy, who is paralyzed and cannot speak, has been in the hospital for more than four months with his parents and his siblings.
He has undergone three surgeries and more than 50 procedures in his life to have his body rebuilt and his nerves replaced with prosthetics.
His parents, Jorge and Adela Ortiz, say the boy is a miracle, a gift from God.
“He’s a miracle child.
He’s a beautiful baby boy.
He is a blessing to this family,” Jorge Ortiz said.
The couple is not only celebrating their first-ever kiss, they are also showing their support for a 4,000-year old tradition.
As they hold the little man in their arms, the Ortiz family is not just giving him the hug he needs.
It’s also sending a message that this is the way he will be remembered forever.
The family says they were given the chance to do this in the Dominican, which is one of the poorest countries in the world, and they have taken it.
“The way the family has expressed it is amazing,” said Maria Vega, a pediatric neurologist at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
“I can’t think of anything that’s more amazing than the way the children feel when they see that.”
Vega is one the experts in the field of infant feeding who has studied the love between babies and their mothers and children.
But this is a new way for the family to express their gratitude.
“It’s really something that we never imagined.
We never thought we would have the opportunity to do something like this,” Vega said.”
That’s why it’s really moving, because this is such a beautiful moment for them.”
The couple’s hope is that their child, who will be around for the rest of his life, will not only learn to love his parents, but that they will also learn to have fun with him.