‘Team Asher’ Helps Keep Parents’ Spirits Up As Baby Beats The Odds

UPDATE – 10/23/12: Asher passed away at Lurie Children’s Hospital

CHICAGO (CBS) — He had surgery before he was even born; then more surgeries after, due to a rare heart defect. But a 6-week old baby fighting for life at Lurie Children’s Hospital has been beating the odds.

CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez has a story that’s all about teamwork.

Asher DeBouver was born with a rare heart defect, and wasn’t even expected to be born alive. But an in utero surgery – which doctors called a Hail Mary – saved his life. He was born very sick, and was put on a breathing machine right away.

Asher’s father, James DeBouver, has been keeping vigil the bedside his tiny son, who doctors call a miracle baby.

“When he came out, it was the most amazing thing,” James said.

But there would be more surgeries, and complications, and tubes, and machines. His mother, Jennifer DeBouver, has been comforting Asher daily, and when she needed comfort, she turned to Facebook, where she started “Team Asher.”

“I needed something to motivate me. I took a picture in our Ronald McDonald House room. Just wrote on a picture ‘Team Asher,’ took a picture, posted it on Facebook, and it took off,” she said. “I never expected it to get this big.”

She’s received 300 pictures from all kinds of people, many of them complete strangers, holding up “Team Asher” signs, to post on the Facebook page.

Friday morning alone, they received 50 pictures.

Jen said the outpouring of support brightens her day when her sister-in-law brings in an envelope with new pictures to tape up on the window of Asher’s hospital room.

“My sister-in-law prints them all out, and it’s exciting to see each window fill up,” she said.

We have Marines up there that are actually deployed in Afghanistan right now,” James said. “It’s absolutely amazing to see the amount of support that we have.”

Doctors said they’re encouraged that Asher has been making gradual progress.

“We’re optimistic we’re going to be able to get the baby through this, and get the baby home,” said Dr. John Costello, a cardiologist at Lurie Children’s Hospital.

As Asher continues his fight, his parents have been waiting for a chance to hold their baby boy for the first time.

Call it teamwork, or the power of positive thought, Asher’s family is convinced the well wishes have made a difference.

James and Jennifer said they couldn’t be more grateful to the doctors at Lurie, and also Texas Children’s Hospital, which performed surgery when Asher was still in the womb.

Asher was still in critical condition as of Friday, but his parents said he’s a fighter, and they’re very hopeful about his prognosis.

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