The Little Iron Man


#Heart4Dezi was trending among thousands of people last summer. That’s when we first introduced you to Dezmen Licea back in July. Dezi was 3 weeks old, with an open chest, able to breathe only with the help of life support. 

Today, The Little Iron Man has come so far, you have to see him yourself to believe it. 

Dezmen Malachi Licea was born on June 26, 2017. 

His parents – Luis and Alicia – thought they were having a perfectly healthy baby boy.

Dezmen was born with a rare heart defect. Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera placed him on ECMO life support, meaning a machine was the only thing keeping him alive. 

“They gave us pretty much five days,” Luis Licea, Dezmen’s father, said. “If the heart doesn’t come back, three to five days, it’s not going to come back.”

When a week passed, the Liceas begged doctors for more time. Luis and his wife simply could not give up on their son. 

“We couldn’t move him. We couldn’t touch him,” Licea said. “He was on blood thinners, open chest for 45 days. It was a lot.”

For weeks, doctors said they had to take Dezmen off life support. Finally, on day 45, they did. 

“We were in the waiting room … one of the worst days of my life,” Luis recalled. “I look over at Alicia and she tells me, everything is going to be all right. 20 minutes later a doctor comes and says, “Your son is doing good. Your son is making it.”

Again, the Little Iron Man was up against the odds — and he was beating them. 

Doctors who promised Luis that his son would not survive, had to admit, baby Dezi was the one in a million. 

Today, almost seven months later, baby Dezi is home, alive, and breathing all on his own.

“We keep a close eye on him. We make sure we give him his medication on time we have multiple alarms ringing. We don’t want to miss nothing,” Luis said. 

And you can tell, he is a happy baby. 

“When I’m down, when I’m feeling upset or something, I look at him, and think ‘Why should I be upset? He went through a lot worse. Why am I complaining?'” Luis said. 

“He brought me back to God. I lost a lot of faith in God and he brought me back.” 

Dezmen, against all odds, will turn 7 months this Friday.

If you would like to continue helping the Liceas care for baby Dezi, you can make a donation here.

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