ANN ARBOR (WXYZ) - Three-year-old Robert Schleeter is all smiles and so is his family. The toddler is alive despite devastating odds.
"He has taught more people about life than any adult ever could," said Robert's grandmother Cindy Dunn.
Robert had to have several heart surgeries in 2012, but his condition kept getting worse in November. Doctors at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor had to induce a coma, hoping it would help him recover.
"No parent wants to see their child like that," said Robert's mother Krystal Schleeter. "Everytime you would see him, he was lifeless."
Quickly, the situation went from terrible to even worse. The Schleeters were told to make funeral arrangements.
"We were told the devastating news that Robert may not even live to see Christmas and if he did survive Christmas-- it would only be a matter of time."
Robert's parents refused to give up.
"We've had so many prayer warriors supporting and pushing us from behind," said Krystal Schleeter. "I had my faith in God who has been pulling us forward."
Doctors soon did a tracheotomy and slowly Robert's health started to improve.
"We've been given life," said Dunn. "So, this miracle is nothing but a miracle."
The Schleeters say Robert has taught them to never give up.
"This little guy is not done with this world yet and he has something to prove," said Dunn.
"Robert is a very special boy," said Dr. Aimee Armstrong. "He's very strong and he always comes back. He has a great will.
Dr. Armstrong, a pediatric cardiologist, has known Robert since his birth.
The Schleeters hope to take Robert home next week so they can be a whole family again.
As Robert undergoes physical therapy, he will have to use a wheelchair.
Aside from medical costs, the family is hoping to raise enough money for a wheelchair ramp.