A dad is winning the Internet for the special way he is supporting his young son, born with a congenital heart defect.
Robert Selby, 33, of Virginia, shared a shirtless image of himself standing alongside his 3-year-old son, Chace. In the picture, the feeding tube that Chace needs is visible on his tummy, but there is a tube on his dad’s stomach too.
The inspiring dad, who doesn’t need a feeding tube, glued his on as a way of supporting his little boy.
“My Mr. #stealyourheart #teamchace is sucking in his stomach, trying to show off his abs like his daddy but all you see are his little ribs,” the dad wrote in the accompanying caption.
“I just cut and glued one of his G-tube on me to show support for him and bring awareness,” he continued.
“My son was born with a congenital heart defect (#chd) called Tetralogy of Fallot (#tof) and he uses a feeding-tube (#gtube) to help with him being under weight due to him not eating orally as much.”
The dad went on to explain that he is determined to have his boy’s back, no matter what. “I’ll always support my son and he’ll never be in a fight alone.”
Since sharing, the empowering post has racked up more than 7,900 likes and, after being picked up by Instagram account Miracles and Messes, has seen more than 110,000 people show their support; it’s also received countless comments from people praising the dad for his dedication to normalizing his son’s condition.
“I hope that one day when I have kids that I can be at least half the man that you are boss. Much love to you and your son,” one man wrote.
“What an amazing father to admire! Also, what a brave & beautiful young man! Truly inspired!,” added another fan, while yet one more added, “This is the best thing I’ve seen in a long time! Keep your head up Chace! Keep fighting! Salute to you bro respect!”
Other organizations thanked the dad for raising awareness about children born with congenital heart defects.
“Thank you for helping raise awareness for children with pediatric feeding disorders and #CHD!” the charity Feeding Matters wrote.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a congenital heart defect is an abnormality of the heart which occurs soon after conception and often before the mother is aware that she is pregnant. The defects can range in severity from simple problems, such as “holes” between chambers of the heart, to very severe malformations, such as complete absence of one or more chambers or valves. They are the most common type of birth defect.
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