A family from Kentucky says prayers and support from people around the world have helped guide them after their infant underwent a heart transplant at just seven weeks old.
Just 11 days after being put on the transplant list, Augustus Elliott Joubert received a new heart.
"My son is currently in surgery. He went in around 1 pm. The old heart is out. The new heart is going in. We only spent 11 days on a transplant list," said Joubert's father, Mark on social media. "Thank God for the family that chose to donate."
Later that day, Mark again took to social media with bad news.
"After a successful transplant, our son's donor heart has not started beating. He will transition to ECMO (heart bypass machine) for a couple of days in hopes that it begins to beat. Otherwise, he will pass away. Please pray for us all. May the Lord be glorified."
The post went viral, and prayers began pouring in for the young infant.
"Praying continually for you guys, the medical team, your families, and the donor family. May our Lord be near to each and every one of you. Grateful to know that our Lord is holding you guys in the palm of his tender hands," a prayer from one person on social media.
Another said, "Praying continually for you all! May our Lord continue to be your strength and shield, and may sweet Gus feel the Lord's nearness even at his young age."
For days the family struggled, not knowing if he would survive. On Tuesday, things finally took a turn for the good.
"Friends and family, I am so happy to share good news: God heard our pleas for mercy, and Gus passed his taper-down test from ECMO with surprising results. In the absence of full support, his heart regulated and picked up some of the slack. A simultaneous echo showed further improvement in function over last week," said Mark.
He says it is beyond what they expected.
"We stood in silence as he slept peacefully throughout the test. We waited, and his heart did well! Our medical team was very pleased with the results. There were smiles all around the room and a collective sigh of relief (at least if felt that way to us)."
On Wednesday, Gus unexpectedly had to go off ECMO. Doctors and other medical professionals spent hours before he stabilized.
"We are so remarkably grateful to report that after hours of working hard to get Gus' blood pressure stable. Gus' heart seems to have steadied out for the time being. He will not be going back on ECMO as of right now," Mark explained. "The Lord has done great things for us today! We remain cautiously optimistic, but God has been good to us."
Gus declined overnight and, as of yesterday, was put back on ECMO to save his life.
"Gus is fairly stable right now. We are so thankful for that, considering how intense and dramatic the last 36 hours have been. We are emotionally and physically exhausted."
The couple continues to reach out for prayer, specifically in three areas.
"First and most important: stability and no complications while on ECMO. He needs time (several days at least) to heal and recuperate before we would try to come off again. Complications like clotting and bleeding are always a threat while on ECMO. Oh, how we would like a more restful night!"
"Second, he's had some seizure activity today, which they've managed with meds. This was discouraging but not surprising. Third, and the current theory as to why we are back on ECMO: damage to his right lung needs to heal."
The pair says they are thankful for all of the prayers they have received from across the globe.
"Please continue to intercede."