Little Luca's life-saving surgery
"Soon there will be no holding him back" ... Luca and his mum, Laura
For the first time in nearly two years, Laura and Tony Hurley had a full night's sleep on January 24.
Before that, they slept on a knife's edge, constantly on high alert; their baby son Luca suffers from trachea cardia, meaning his heartbeat would race to 300 beats a minute.
Born with a hole in his heart, Luca was operated on at the tender age of five weeks. He then contracted bronchiolitis that weakened his tiny body.
Famly of fighters ... Laura and Tony Hurley with their son Luca Photo: John Gass
The open heart surgery went well, but Luca then experienced a massive bleed.
"It took 45 minutes of CPR to save him, then 10 days on life support," Mrs Hurley said.
Little Luca, now 21 months, suffered global brain injury as a result. He now has cerebral palsy and cortical vision damage, a condition where his eyes can see, but his brain can't register what he sees.
And on January 24, he underwent eight hours of heart surgery.
"We waited with bated breath for him wake and when he did, he smiled. Then we knew he was okay and there was no further damage to his heart," said Mr Hurley.
"We are over the moon. A huge weight has lifted from our minds.
"His cheeks are pink for the first time and his lips so red he looks like he's wearing lipstick. We are so happy."
Luca turns two in May, but doesn't walk yet.
"He gets very frustrated," Mr Hurley said.
"He wants to be moving around, but we have to take things gently and slowly as his breast plate heals.
"His little body isn't ready for walking, but soon there will be no holding him back."
Last September, the people of Cabarita, NSW, opened up their hearts and wallets to raise money for Luca's weekly therapy.
They raised $20,000.
"We are blessed in having this beautiful little boy and in receiving such kindness from so many people," Mr Hurley said.