Pinellas parents cope with son's microcephaly

Posted at 6:35 PM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 17:30:12-05

When you're born, you can't choose your parents.

"I'm sorry, he says, but your son is not going to live more than two weeks,” said Vince Barbaro of Indian Rocks Beach, remembering the words he heard after the birth of his son.

Forty years later, it is clear Angie and Vince Barbaro are the best parents for their son, Anthony.

"He says, 'I'm sorry,' says, 'You should probably put your son in an institution.' He can't see. He can't talk. He can't walk. I said, 'Are you crazy?! That's my son.' I said, 'I'm taking him home,'” Vince Barbaro said.

Perhaps Anthony, he said, wouldn't have thrived like he has without his mom and dad's devotion and tender care.

"My philosophy has always been one day at a time,” said Angie Barbaro.

The retired couple from Maryland with two other children spends the day strolling Anthony on the beach. He goes everywhere with them. Born with microcephaly, Anthony's head is abnormally small and his brain underdeveloped.

"The only things the doctor told me back then was I may have contracted a virus in my first three months of pregnancy, but they didn't pinpoint it,” said Angie Barbaro.

They thought Anthony's condition was pretty rare. Now the spread of the Zika virus is conjuring their interest as cases pop up around Florida and around the world.

"We never heard of it before until now,” said Angie Barbaro. “And it's doing the same type of things to kids,” said Vince Barbaro.

The Barbaros want other parents to know they're not alone. There is life even with microcephaly.

"He is amazing. To me, as long as he's healthy, that's what we want,” said his dad.