Albie Unplugged

Albie is AMAZING, totally rocking it out and we are beyond proud of him. In the last few days he has been weaned off oxygen, started drinking and eating, held his head up and sat up. He has started jibber-jabbering away again and pointing at things everywhere. It seems clear that any problems he had moving about were simply because he was paralysed and sedated for so long, rather than anything long term. How thankful and blessed are we?! It is such a joy to see him getting stronger every day.

He is different in himself, but that is something that I can understand will just take time. The cardiologist said yesterday, that kids Albie’s age can take 4-6 weeks to come back into themselves after this sort of trauma. A lot of his certainty in the world has gone, he is scared of just about everyone except us. Ridiculous amounts of cuddles and lots of quiet time seem just the ticket.

He is pretty beaten up. He has marks and scars everywhere. His chest is by far the worst. Its endured open heart surgery, then chest compressions in emergency CPR, then was open again while he was on ECMO, and then it all got pulled back together again. His sternum is now wired back together and his chest stitched shut, but he still has a partially collapsed lung. So it all looks mighty sore. Regardless, he keeps on trying to crawl and trying to pull himself up to stand, keen to get on with business, but then realises his chest might not yet be up for that sort of malarcky. I can see it won’t be long though as his recovery is proving to be pretty darn quick. The power of all the love he has received from you all has a lot to do with that.

When he is all healed his chest is going to bear the gnarliest of scars, for the gnarliest of stories. Our heads know just how close we got to the edge, but I can’t describe how our hearts feel. Great, wonderful buckets of gratitude we are carrying about – for you, for Albie, for our lives. Its just been the largest and sharpest lesson. We both still can’t fathom what has happened at all really – it is just all too huge.


  1. Wow, Sarah and Marcus, What an amazing young man you have. He really is a fighter. Thank you so much for allowing us to share your journey. X Keep it up Albie, your amazing!

  2. Praise God super news Sarah. A tip on the being scared of people . Do the starship staff wear a set colour of uniform? Wellington hospital staff wore lime green uniforms when john was young and going through all his brain surgery seesions. I found that getting people to avoid wearing anything green around him for about 3 months made a huge difference.After that we introduced it on people that he really loved and knew well. As always love and best wishes Janice and Aunty Tui

  3. Yay Albie is back ! The whole family is over the moon. You are amazing Sarah for keeping us in the loop when it must have been one of the hardest parts of the journey. Thanks for that ! XXXX

  4. You wonderful, wonderful, wonderful little boy Albie. Lots of love and good wishes for you to heal well and soon.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx I am soooo proud of you and your wonderful parents.

  5. This is such good news, keeping gently but steadily rocking on all of you. Even from this distance it’s been epic. Keep looking after each other as you make sense of it all. Arohanui ki a ngaa toa toru!

  6. Amazing – I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Sarah or Albie yet and don’t know you well Marcus (just through work) but I’ve had you all in my thoughts over the last couple of weeks and I can’t tell you how happy I was to see that beautiful photo of your boy with the balloon – just incredible.

  7. Wobderful and amazing news!!!! Our thoughts and prayers will continue. I can remember our daughter ad well was “not herself” for a bit after her surgery. Very quiet snd would only talk to her daddy and me. Not even to her siblings. It lasted a few weeks after her discharge. She slowly and surely returned to her spunky self. Give Albie time….he will get there:)

  8. What a journey and story to tell. Wonderful to see him doing so well in such a short time after walking so close to the edge. Hugs to you all as the healing continues.

  9. Wow Albie you have amazed us all. We are so happy to see this photo of you today and hear mummy’s wonderful words. You are the strongest person we know. We are inspired by you and we send all our love and healing energies to keep helping you as you get stronger each day. We’ll be lighting your candle soon as it’s dark here today in Welly! Lots of love Albie – love Jo, Maddy and Harriet xxx

  10. Great news you guys, we’re stoked he’s on the mend. Sammy has been going on and on about Albie all week and just gave his photo a kiss when I showed him it. friends for life those two!!

  11. What a precious picture of Albie for my eyes to behold ! gnarl’y scars and all. They are beautiful scars because they are what have kept Albie alive. I feel total elation for the blessings that have occurred .You guys and Albie have been to the very edge of that cliff alright but i feel you are close to the edge of that clearing just out of the woods ! xoxo

  12. What a wonderful picture of a brave, gutsy little boy. He will be a very strong young man and a super person! What a comeback! Very exciting news, thanks for the great updates. Love from us Hislops. xx

  13. Oh my goodness Sarah and Marcus, what a fighter he is. That picture is just amazing – I am sure your voices and cuddles will make him feel even more secure over the next few weeks
    We all have heaps to thank the dear Lord for!
    Love Adie n David H

  14. Fantastic news and what a great picture for all of us to enjoy. We are all thinking of you down here.
    Marg and Sandy XXX

  15. This very precious wee albie has taught me never give up no matter what,I cannot stop looking at his beautiful little face.

  16. Wow!! Such super news, what a supportive an amazing set of parents Albie has, what a fighter Albie is.
    Sending lots of love xxxx

  17. Hey Sarah! This is the most wonderful news to wake up to! I am been secretly keeping with over the last few weeks through this blog and Inga’s posts on FB. You guys – ESP
    Albie are AMAZING. I really admire your strength and composure in your writing – you put it all so beautifully with every update. My best wishes for a strong and fast recovery to you ALL. Hope to meet Albie one day! Karen – Amsterdam X

  18. Awesome-this picture is so melt in your mouth, he is so beautiful! Thank you for the updates and sharing your story Sarah and Marcus, I am sure Albie will continue to surprise everyone with his speedy recovery and strength! Have you thought about writing a book? (obvious not right now 🙂 (you have such a wonderful and inspiring talent the way you share your story and experience) Just a thought. Sending loads of love xx

  19. Ka mau kē Te wehi!! You’re neat alright boy. I’ve spent the weekend out of the city, cooking at my cousin’s school. What a wonderful way to return to the Internet world. Good stuff whānau. Albie all the way!! Xoxox

  20. I can’t believe after the week you and he have just had how fantastically happy and giggly he looks! I think this is the best picture I have ever seen. Well done guys for getting through and getting him through so positively!! I know it’s still a hard road to go but after how far he’s come I don’t think there’s anything Albie can’t do.

  21. Wow great to see him looking so good despite all the scars and tubes he looks like his old self in the other photos from before – got the same cute expression 🙂 Very Happy for you all!

  22. Absolutely fantastic news!!!! Albie what an amazing little boy you are. Hearing this has certainly made my day. The picture is great, even managing a little bit of a smile. Lots of love to you all xxxxxxxx.

    • What a fantastic photo – Albie you are a legend. Marcus and Sarah –
      Albies teenage years are going to be a breeze in comparison to what you have been and are still going thru. Will continue to pray for a complete healing. And I agree,a book is definitely something I think you will be writing in the future. Much love, Judy F

  23. Such wonderful news. Life is so precious. Albies’ scars will tell a story of strength and courage. xxx

  24. Such fantastic news Sarah, so good to hear he’s going from strength to strength! Will keep up prayers for continuing fast recovery and healing of the trauma (to you all!) and look forward to better news every post!

  25. Wow, just wow. What an amazing wee man! He is testament to your strength, love and determination beautiful Hoppy family. Tell him we’ll be coming for a cuddle soon!! Love love love xxxxx

    • This child whom I have never met has moved us from tears to laughter and I am soooo happy to see that fabulous photo of your wee man. He is teaching me and my kids so much about determination and the power of love – we check each day for an Albie update. You are all in our thoughts…The Gisborne Kelso family.

  26. Fan-dabie-dosie!!!!!!! This is the the best news ever- what a gorgeous little soulXXXXX My scruffs are making an advanced playdate booking right now! Lots of love to you all XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  27. Guys that is so so incredible,amazing,fantastic….. there arent enough superlatives. Im so overjoyed for you both. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  28. Hey Albie. I’ve seen a photo of you and your dad watching rugby together so I guess that you know Ritchie McCaw. well Albie, right at this time I would have to tell you that your fan club is bigger than Ritchies because he only beat the Aussies and you beat EVERYTHING!! well done you great big hero. I know I have promised you lots more woolly vests – I will be extremely happy to keep those coming for as long as you need them although it might be a shame to cover up those big battle scars. tell your mum and dad that I think that you are all absolutely amazing and can trash those All Blacks any day. kia kaha. love from Sharon Kelso

  29. Oh bless his cotton socks. What wonderful news. I can’t stop looking at his gorgeous little face. Happy days and many more to come for you all. xxxx

  30. Great to see our beautiful Albie. His little face is full of joy and love for his wonderful mummy and daddy. Prayers and wishes are being said every day for Albie ~ the toughest and bravest fighter ever. Keep on going Albie you are amazing. All our love. From Grandma and Grandad Hopkinson and all your family, friends and followers of your great journey in the U.K. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  31. bless what an amazing brave little fighter you are Albie . Sending lots of love and support to you and your brave mummy and daddy xxx

  32. He is amazing, you all are. Sara, thanks for keeping us up to date with everything. This is such good news and the lovely picture is one I hoped and prayed to see. We’ll keep sending the love from here. x

  33. It’s such a wonderful news! it’s great to see him getting better and better every day!!! He is such a brave little boy. All our love and hugs to all of you. So happy for you!!!!! xxxxxxxxx

  34. YAY!! YAY! Another weekend, another two days without internet. So sad that I feel a little lost without it, but how GREAT to come home and see updates like this. Makes my heart soar, and my eyes tear up a little. WONDERFUL JOB ALBIE! Keep up the good, hard work. Stay strong still mom and dad. Continuing to keep you all in my thoughts.

  35. I can’t stop looking at this picture, it blows me away and makes me so happy. Albie is back! I can see his cheekiness coming through already. I love that little guy, he’s the coolest.

  36. The power of love! How absolutely amazing Albie and you both are… It is such a roller coaster journey – you must be exhausted. Kia kaha. Arohanui

  37. Such wonderful news and he looks gorgeous scars and all. You guys have been amazing, Albie is such a lucky boy to have you as parents. And thankyou for keeping us all informed. It makes a difference being able to keep track of Albies amazing progress. I will share your good news with the staff. Kia Kaha.

  38. Thank God, such wonderful news, the pictures of Albie make you want to laugh and cry all at the same time! Fantastic boy x

  39. Just fantastic, great. So beautiful to see this pic of him awake and smiling like this. What great news. ‘Amazing’ really is the right word for Albie, and for you and Marcus as all three of you get through this incredible time. And here’s to all his cheekiness and confidence coming back, which I’m sure it will in no time, if that twinkle in his eye is anything to go by!

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