Chicago boy who’s been in the hospital his whole life finally goes home

CHICAGO (WGN) — A boy who was born with a rare genetic condition walked out of a Chicago hospital on Tuesday after spending his entire life in care.

Two-year-old Francesco Bruno suffers from skeletal dysplasia which prevents his rib cage from growing properly to accommodate his developing lungs. He has had numerous surgeries to expand his chest under the nursing team at La Rabida Hospital.

It has been his home for a year and a half.

“In the last few weeks, every hour has felt like years,” says father Emanuele Bruno. “We’ve waited a long time for him to come home, we’ve tried for a long time to bring him home but it hasn’t really materialized and it hasn’t really been confirmed until recently.”

Bruno, the youngest of seven children, finally went home on Tuesday afternoon.


Skeletal dysplasia, sometimes referred to as dwarfism, is a term used for several hundred disorders that affect the formation and growth of a child’s bones and cartilage, according to Shriners Children’s.

Bruno has spent much of his life on a ventilator and a feeding tube. He has only recently been able to speak and laugh out loud.

“He’s a pleasure to watch and a pleasure to see him playing around with his iPad and growing and developing,” said Dr. Parag Shah from La Rabida Hospital.

In recent weeks, his parents have received detailed training and instructions on how to take care of him.

“We ask these families to do a lot at home,” Shah said.

His brothers and sisters, who came home from school on Tuesday, eagerly awaited the arrival of their brother.

“They are super happy. They’re excited, they’re making cards at home and they’re waiting for the call to say we’re on our way,” said mother Priscilla Bruno.

La Rabida staff said it was a bittersweet moment for them. They’ve gotten to know Bruno very well over the past 18 months and told WGN they’re glad he’s going home but sad that he’s going. Chicago boy who’s been in the hospital his whole life finally goes home

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