'48 hours to live': Beautiful dying 10-year-old 'defies every single odd' with MIRACULOUS recovery
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At just four-years-old, Abby Furco was diagnosed with a life-threatening, rare form of leukemia. She was given a 20 percent chance of survival.
At 4-years-old, Abby Furco was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. [Photo by: Patty Furco/PEOPLE]
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In 2011, Abby's parents were told their daughter had Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Over the next six years, the Furco family were in an out of the hospital. Abby endured a bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. Her doctors even tried a trial drug.
A small glimmer of hope shined down on the Furco's in October 2013. Abby finished her treatment, and for one year she was able to return to school. She played with friends and became a Girl Scout.
However, this was taken away again in September 2014.
"As hard as that first diagnosis was, this one tested every ounce of our being," explained Patty. "She became completely immobile, any movement hurt her and she hardly spoke."
Abby was diagnosed with Graft-versus-host disease in February 2015. Her donated bone marrow was attacking her body.
In 2016, her kidneys began to fail. She was placed in Intensive Care and was on dialysis 24 hours a day.
"Doctors told us it was time to let her go," Patty said. "We began preparing our other daughters for her death."
The doctors arranged for Abby to place under hospice care in her home.
"Abby said in a very soft voice 'I know I'm supposed to die, but I don't think I'm going to. I don't think it's my time yet,'" her father Joe, expressed, according to God Vine.
Once she was taken off dialysis, the doctors gave Abby 48 hours left to live.
Her parents began making funeral arrangments, picking out caskets and her grandparents flew in to say their goodbyes to their beautiful 10-year-old granddaughter.
And then something miraculous happened.
Abby woke up. "I have so much living to do," she told her parents.
From that moment on, Abby's health improved. "We couldn't believe it, in a matter of days, weeks, months she started walking and getting stronger," says Patty. "It's an absolute miracle."
According to Abby's doctor Jacob Wessler, there is no real explanation for Abby's quick recovery.
"She was very, very sick and her body was shutting down slowly, and her organs weren't working correctly anymore, and every intervention was just making her worse," Dr. Wessler explained to PEOPLE.
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"We helped her get home on hospice. But when we started backing off, taking away treatments, so she wasn't on so many meds, she started getting better all on her own."
Since then, Abby has continued to thrive. Although she still has her bad days and receives IV steroids twice a day, she is in remission.
"She just wants to be a normal kid and hang out with friends and go to school - her zest for life is just amazing," says Patty. "We watched her die and come back to life."
"She's had ups and downs, but if she continues on this path, she is going to make us all look like fools!" expressed Dr. Wessler. "She's defied every single odd."
"Now we're looking to the future," added Patty.
"Did you know that kids' cancers are different from adult cancers? It's true," reads the TEAM ABBY page with St. Baldrick's Foundation (to 'Conquer Childhood Cancers'). "And childhood cancer research is extremely underfunded. So we decided to do something about it by raising money for cures."
Abby and her family have since began raising money, alongside St. Baldrick's, for childhood cancer research in hopes of one day finding a cure.
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