After a 3-month-old baby from Massachusetts underwent open-heart surgery to save his life, and a picture of him was posted online by a family member, he instantly captured the hearts of millions of people worldwide.
Now, folks are calling Joey Powling a “Baby Bruce Willis,” and a spawn of the “Most Interesting Man in the World.”
According to family members, Joey was born with tetralogy of Fallot, a rare and complex heart defect that can occur in babies.
The doctors were able to identify the issue prior to Joey’s birth, and decided to perform the surgery on the child once he was 3 -months-old.
Joey’s surgery was performed on October 25 at Boston Children’s Hospital, family members said.
When it was complete, Joey’s uncle, Matt Tasone, took a photo of Joey post-surgery and put it up on Reddit with the tag line “ridiculously good-looking surgery baby.” The picture shows Joey smiling at the camera after having the life-changing procedure at the Boston hospital. In the photo, you can see the long scar that runs along the child’s chest.
Along with the photo, Tasone wrote “My 3-month-old nephew just had open heart surgery. Chicks dig scars, right?”
Within hours, people started commenting on the cute photo, and since then it has gone viral, leading to a slew of memes and online admiration.
“I feel like I’m looking at the baby form of Robert Downey Jr.,” one person wrote. Another said it looks like Joey is saying “I don’t always have open-heart surgery, but when I do, I don’t give a f***.”
The post also led to both local and national news coverage, and comments galore have flooded both Reddit and the family’s social media streams.
On Monday, Joey’s parents, who are from Dracut, spoke about the sudden Internet fame on the “Today” show.
In a recent post in the Lowell Sun, Joey’s grand-Uncle, Dan Phelps, explained what happened once the photo was posted to Reddit.
“More than a million people across the country and world have viewed his photo and commented on how darn cute he is,” Phelps wrote on November 5. “Within a day, the photo had enough views and ‘up’ votes to place it on the front page of the site. Since then, the photo has popped up on other websites, most notably that of Pirate FM radio in the United Kingdom, where it has more than a million likes.”