MANILA, Philippines – The three-year-old baby boy who was blessed by Pope Francis at the Meeting of Families at the Mall of Asia Arena passed away on Friday.
Brandon Emmanuel Lao succumbed to numerous health ailments on January 23, at 6:44 pm at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City; according to his mother, Gladys Precilla Lao, who spoke to reporters from GMA News.
The baby boy was suffering from a variety of illnesses, such as a hole in his heart, extensive damage to his left lung, as well as pulmonary hypertension.
When Pope Francis blessed the boy at the MOA Arena, Brandon’s lips and extremities were bluish in colour, due to the lack of oxygen carried through his body. He relied on an oxygen tank to enable him to breathe properly, and was generally too weak to do anything more than sleep.
Brandon awoke and began crying when the Pope spoke a prayer over him.
After the encounter, Brandon’s mother Gladys told reporters from online news source, Rappler, that she “really wanted to say thank you” to the Pontiff, who told her not to cry.
Gladys recounted: “…he said ‘Do not cry.’ And then he was holding my face and telling me to stop crying…but the more I cried,”
The Laos were the first family the Pope encountered at the Arena; having been spotted and called forward by the pontiff’s security personnel.