Three month old Joey Powling first took the internet by storm and now he’s off to a successful start in television, appearing on the ‘Today’ show and ‘Inside Edition’ on Monday. Joey first came into the public spotlight after his uncle, Matt Tassone, posted a picture of him sporting a long scar on his chest after having open heart surgery on the popular website reddit.com. The smile on Joey’s face, despite being only a few days out of surgery at Boston’s Children’s Hospital made the infant an instant viral success. The photo was originally posted with the caption “My 3-month old nephew just had open heart surgery. Chicks dig scars, right?” but it wasn’t long before Joey meme’s featuring slogans such as “I don’t always have open-heart surgery, but when I do, I smirk like this!” and “If Chuck Norris had a baby, he’d almost be as tough as this,” started popping up on the web and within a few days Baby Joey had over 1 million “likes” on Facebook and was being compared to a “baby Bruce Willis.” So it was only natural that the news outlets would soon be taking notice and Baby Joey would head to the talk show circuit.
Joey was born with a rare heart condition called tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), a condition that only affects 5 in 10,000 babies. Lucky for Joey, the condition was discovered when his mom Sarah was six-months pregnant with him and doctors had plenty of time to get a treatment plan in place before he was born. Mom Sarah said that Joey has always been a happy child and that his smile comes easily, “Once he gets going, he just doesn’t stop,” she said. The family is hoping that Joey’s sudden fame will help raise awareness for TOF and help them raise money for Joey’s medical expenses.