Doctors had given up on all treatments for this young girl with leukemia, while heartbroken parents had started preparing for her funeral last May. But, after she was taken off medical treatment and sent home to spend her last days with her family, to everyone’s shock, she suddenly began recovering, and is now getting better by herself!
“We watched her die and come back to life,” the 10-year-old cancer fighter’s mom told PEOPLE.
Abby Furco was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011 at age 4
Doctors told her parents, Patty and Joe, that Abby had only a 20 percent chance of survival from this rare and severe form of leukemia.
Her parents were devastated to learn that their daughter had so little hope for survival.
For the next six years, Abby had to fight the illnesses and endure the grueling treatments, while all her family could do was comfort her and stay by her side.
“We kept her surrounded by love because we knew at any moment we could lose her,” says Patty
“There were moments we didn’t know if she’d pull through, she has so many infections that could have ended her life.”
The family was in and out hospitals with Abby, who underwent a series of treatments, including a bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. But the devastated parents could not do anything to reduce their poor daughter’s pain and suffering.
“All we could do was watch her fight and try to get better”
By the fall of 2013, Abby appeared to have gotten through all the difficulties, and it seemed the nightmare had come to an end. She went back to school, had fun with her friends, played soccer, and joined the scouts.
Yet the nightmare returned a year later, however, and this time it was much more terrible.
“She became completely immobile, any movement hurt her and she hardly spoke,” said Abby’s mom
Doctors found that Abby had developed a disease where the donated marrow was attacking her body, and after a year, Abby’s kidneys began to fail and she was put in intensive care. Abby would not survive longer than 48 hours without dialysis.
“Doctors told us it was time to let her go, she was only awake for like an hour each day,” says Patty. “We began preparing our other daughters for her death”
Abby was sent back home under hospice care, and family and friends gathered to spend her last days with her. Abby’s grandparents flew to see her for the last time, while her heartbroken parents began preparing for her funeral.
Yet, after Abby was taken off all medical treatments, she suddenly woke up by herself.
“We couldn’t believe it, in a matter of days, weeks, months she started walking and getting stronger,” said her mom. “It’s an absolute miracle.”
Abby told her parents: “I have so much living to do.”
Doctors were also unable to explain her unexpected 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,” Abby’s doctor, a pediatric hematologist and oncologist, Jacob Wessler, told PEOPLE.
“She’s had ups and downs, but if she continues on this path, she is going to make us all look like fools!” Dr. Wessler added. “She’s defied every single odd.”
Abby is now in remission. Though her prognosis remains uncertain, her family stays positive and cherishes every minute she’s alive.
“[H]er zest for life is just amazing,” says Abby’s mom. “Now we’re looking to the future.”