Beaufort News

Beaufort’s ‘Baby Joey’ stable after emergency heart surgery

Behind Baby Joe: Beaufort 5 month old to undergo 3rd heart surgery

Five-month-old Joe Williams III, the son of Beaufort couple Lakesha and Joe Williams Jr., was born with a heart ailment known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Baby Joe underwent two heart surgeries in the first days of his life. On Thursday, Au
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Five-month-old Joe Williams III, the son of Beaufort couple Lakesha and Joe Williams Jr., was born with a heart ailment known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Baby Joe underwent two heart surgeries in the first days of his life. On Thursday, Au

“Baby Joey” continues beating the odds as he returned from an emergency heart surgery in stable condition Tuesday afternoon.

“He made it through again,” LaKesha Williams, Joey’s mom, said shortly after he returned from surgery. “He is fighting. He is a fighter.”

The heart surgery for Joe L. Williams III, known as Joey, is the fourth he has undergone since he was born in March with hypoplastic left heart syndrome; the left side of his heart did not develop while he was in the womb.

The six-hour surgery was needed to find and correct leakage coming from an artery following his most recent surgery Aug. 25, LaKesha said.

She said surgeons found a leak where the heart and lung connected. She said surgeons were confident they fixed the issue.

“Our God is an awesome God,” she said. “Thank you to all the people who were praying for us.”

As of 4 p.m. Monday, Joey remained sedated but responsive, she said.

“Daddy is singing to him and holding his hand,” she said. “He knows we are here.”

Baby Joey previously fought through life-threatening complications from a surgery that happened weeks after his birth. A collapsed lung and kidney failure left the infant on life support at that time.

It has been through prayers and support from the community that the family has been able to remain strong, LaKesha said.

LaKesha left her job as a hair stylist soon after Joey’s birth to take care of him. Joey’s father, Joe, continues to work as a pastor at Jackson Branch Missionary Baptist Church in Brunson. He also works part time as a security guard.

Together the couple has five children.

The public can help support the family by visiting their gofundme.com page at www.gofundme.com/qxeybbjp

Tony Ciuffo, spokesperson for Medical University of South Carolina Children’s Hospital, said he was unable to provide an update on Joey’s condition Tuesday because he was out of the office.

LaKesha said not being able to hold Joey is one of the hardest parts of recovery.

“They have to keep him stable and not moving too much so that his body can go through the healing process,” she said. “But we are here by his side. We can still kiss him.”

Teresa Moss: 843-706-8152, @TeresaIPBG

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