Tim Paddock’s baby daughter, Piper, had to have her first heart surgery just 36 hours after she was born.
“She's just about to turn nine months old; she's had nine total procedures — three open-heart surgeries,” he told Inside Edition.
Little Piper was born with a rare defect of a heart valve.
Her parents, who are both New York State Troopers, will never forget the day doctors broke the news.
“They said, 'Something's wrong with your baby's heart,' and I lost it,” Gia Paddock said as her voice cracked with emotion. “You plan for this marriage and your kid to have a fun life and my world shattered.”
Piper was kept in an induced coma with her little chest open for the first six weeks of her life.
“You see your baby's chest open and their little heart beating and I knew it was beating away," Gia said. "She wasn't gonna leave me. She was gonna stay. She's a fighter."
“She's definitely shown that she, herself, is a trooper and willing to keep fighting,” Tim added.
Little Piper is being treated at Boston Children's Hospital, which is about an eight-hour drive from their home outside Rochester.
Instead of having to endure that grueling trip, Piper and her parents are flown for free in a private jet, thanks to some volunteer pilots who call themselves PALS (Patient Air Lift Services).
The trip with PALS takes just 50 minutes from their home to the hospital.