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'Ridiculously good-looking surgery baby' becomes internet sensation

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More than a million people across world have viewed Joey Powling Jr.'s photo and commented on how cute he is. (Source: Joseph Powling/Facebook) More than a million people across world have viewed Joey Powling Jr.'s photo and commented on how cute he is. (Source: Joseph Powling/Facebook)
LOWELL, MA (KCTV) -

A 3-month-old boy has recently been dubbed the "ridiculously good-looking surgery baby" after surviving open-heart surgery.

More than a million people across world have viewed Joey Powling Jr.'s photo and commented on how cute he is.

Joey was born last July with a common heart defect in children known as tetralogy of Fallot, or a hole in the heart.

But for his family, the photo is more than just internet fame. His great-uncle, Dan Phelps, explained the serious side of Joey's condition in an essay published in the Lowell Sun on Monday.

"The surgery was performed Oct. 25 at Boston Children's Hospital, and it was successful, though Joey and his folks, Sarah and Joe Sr., still have a long road ahead," Phelps said. "Sarah took a photo five days after the surgery of Joey with a bemused smile on his face - as if saying, 'Scar? What scar?' - and with a large incision on his chest and stomach, ending about an inch from his belly button and creating what looks like an exclamation point."

Joey's posted the photo on reddit.com, a website where people submit photos and articles, and others vote for popularity. The caption humorously stated, "My 3 month-old nephew just had open heart surgery. Chicks dig scars, right?"

One person who saw the photo said Joey is "a baby Bruce Willis." 

Even though Joey's family was amused with their son's online fame and support, Phelps said his parents also hope it translates into awareness of medical condition.

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.

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