NewsPositively Hampton Roads


Virginia Beach 10-year-old beats all odds after being given 48 hours to live

Posted at 12:00 AM, May 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-15 22:49:28-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - On a couch, surrounded by family and friends, a then 9-year-old little girl was supposed to lose her long and brave battle to the side effects of a bone marrow transplant. 

"While we had dozens of people in the house, Abby found a moment of quiet one time, individually to both mom and to me, and in said in a very soft voice, "I know I'm supposed to die, I don't think I'm going to yet," says Joe Furco, Abby's father.

Doctors told Abby's parents, Joe and Patty Furco, that there was nothing else they could do for Abby.

She battled a rare form of leukemia, Pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (Pre-B ALL), since age four.

After she relapsed, Abby survived a bone transplant and went into cancer remission.

However, the transplant led to Graft-Versus-Host disease, and Abby's kidneys started failing.

"We slowly watched her become completely immobile," says Patty. "She said she wasn't ready, and we said, 'yea we know sweetie.'"

The Furco's brought Abby to their Virginia Beach home in the summer of 2016 to pass peacefully and surrounded by loved ones.

Joe, a commander in the United States Navy, started to write Abby's eulogy.

However, the next day, Abby woke up.

"I came back the next day, and I came back the next day," says Sarah Rostock, a cancer survivor who met Abby at a summer camp geared for patients and survivors.

Two weeks, turned into three weeks, which turned into months.

"It was incredible," says Patty. 

"Medically speaking, Abby should not be with us anymore," says Joe. "Abby thumbed her nose at the medical profession in this respect and said, 'Thank you for your opinion I'll see you guys in a couple of months, or a couple of years,' and has been continuing on."

Defying doctors nationwide and science, Abby is beating the odds and giving families worldwide, hope.

"I'm feeling a lot better than I have these past few years," says Abby. "It really helps you pull through with a lot of different things, knowing that there's someone else in this big world that has this very unfortunate and rare event that you have went through as well."

Now Abby's story is the center of a mission for the fight against childhood cancer.

"We are witnessing a miracle," says Patty. "We have, and we continue to do so."

To learn about her battle, her recovery, and her family's push for continued research to lead to a cure, watch Abby's Miracle Monday on News 3 at 11.