Joey Powling Jr. has been labeled a "ridiculously good looking baby" after a photo of him on the Internet went viral. But beyond being good looking, the 3-month-old has also captured hearts of many for being brave.
Joey was born in July with a hole in his heart, a serious condition referred to as tetralogy of fallot (TOF). For months before the baby was born, his family anticipated an open-heart surgery that they were informed would take place when he became three months of age.
The photo of Joey went viral after the little boy's uncle, Matt, posted it to Reddit with a caption that read, "My three-month-old nephew just had open heart surgery. Chicks dig scars, right?" The picture shows the little boy offering the camera a winning smile despite the large scar going down his chest. It was taken only five days after his open heart surgery.
"I took that photo because it was the first time they uncovered the whole scar," Joey's mom, Sarah, told Yahoo. "Joe was playing with him, and I just wanted to get a picture of the scar, and he started smiling."
But apparently it was not just "chicks" who dug the photo, which has received millions of views. Comments on the photo included "A baby Bruce Willis" and "That baby is manlier than me."
"I didn't think I liked babies or had a biological clock," another user added. "This pic has just complicated a lot for me. What a sweetheart."
Joey's surgery was performed Oct. 25 at Boston Children's Hospital, according to one of the baby's relatives. The relative added that the surgery had been successful, though there was still a long road ahead.
His parents were surprised about the attention that their son was receiving at first, but now hope this picture will raise awareness about his condition.