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Nathan, a very courageous little boy!

David Hébert, race car driver who participates in the Granby race for the benefit of the Foundation of Stars this year, tells you the touching story of his newborn son, Nathan. A moving testimony of a loving father.

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I’m a race car driver. Facing danger head-on is what I do everyday. But when it’s a little innocent newborn who’s facing danger, it’s a whole different story. Since my little boy came into this world, we’ve been on a rollercoaster ride of feelings and emotions.

Even before he was born, we knew he would have to fight to make it. He was diagnosed with a diaphragmatic hernia while he was still in Mélissa’s womb. Only a few days old, he underwent major surgery. Here was this tiny little one struggling with something huge: his stomach had gone through his diaphragm! As a result, one lung works fine but with the other functioning at only 30% capacity, he has a lot of trouble getting enough oxygen.

Nathan had his operation on Christmas Eve. It was a success! Then the doctors called us in, our baby boy had pulmonary hypertension and needed to be hooked up to an ECMO… a machine that withdrew Nathan’s blood in order to oxygenate it and then pumped it back into his body. It was our last resort.

Two weeks later, he was stable. We held him in our arms and hoped that it was all behind us.

And then Nathan came down with a virus, and this time we were convinced little else could be done. On January 30th at 8 o’clock in the morning, the medical team rushed us to the palliative care ward so we could say our final goodbyes. My girls and my family came too. Nathan was fitted with a small respirator, just so we could hold him again, one last time. Everyone in the ward was heartbroken. We were devastated.

But then… a small miracle happened!

A few hours went by, we had him baptized, and as we cuddled him we noticed some movement in the monitor. We summoned the doctors to explain. As it turned out, Nathan had had a burst of energy. Was he taking a few last breaths or fighting for his life? We didn’t know. It was all very confusing, earlier that day we were told it was all over... But now, no one could tell us what was to come. All we could do was to wait and see, take it one hour at a time.

Through it all, Nathan was in my thoughts everywhere I went, and every time I raced. I even raced at the Granby Autodrome to raise funds for the Foundation of Stars, the very organization that you support. I got involved because research is essential for us. Research is what gave our little guy a second chance at life, a third and even a fourth! He’s our little fi ghter, giving it all he’s got! He’s incredible. I just love him so very much.

We don’t know what future awaits Nathan. We had hoped to take him home in September, but right now, as I write this, we don’t even know if he’ll make it home by Christmas. But we're here to give him the love he needs, and we’re counting on you to give us the support we need to get past this seesaw of emotions.

Thank you for supporting the Foundation of Stars.

David Hébert

Nathan's Father