Bret Baier's teenage son Paul is in recovery after emergency open-heart surgery

Fox News anchor Bret Baier’s teenage son Paul says his recovery from open-heart surgery is “going pretty smoothly.”

The 16-year-old was forced to undergo the emergency surgery last week after an MRI revealed a golf ball-sized aneurysm had formed off of his heart. It was his fifth open-heart procedure since birth.

“Tonight, @AmyBaier1 and I want to thank the staff @ChildrensNatl for once again saving our son Paul’s life,” Bret Baier wrote in a Friday post on X (formerly twitter). “You may have noticed I have been absent from #SpecialReport for the last few days — our 16 year old son had to undergo his 5th open heart surgery yesterday. This one was unexpected and considered an emergency. He is doing remarkably well and we are so incredibly grateful to the doctors and nurses at Children’s National. Thank you for your prayers — I will be back on Monday.”

Baier included in his post a clip of Mike Emanuel, Fox’s chief Washington correspondent, filling in for him. In the clip, Emanuel honorarily appoints Dr. Yves d’Udekem, cardiac surgery chief at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., “winner of the week” in a nod to the regular segment on Baier’s show.

The ordeal began when Paul seemingly caught a common cold. Given his history of heart problems — he was born with five congenital heart defects — Paul’s mother, Amy Baier, played it safe and took him to a doctor.

“The doctor, Dr. Stein, was very thorough and before we left, she said, ‘Let’s do a chest X-ray, just to be sure everything’s okay,’” Amy told People. The X-ray was sent to a cardiologist, who then recommended an MRI, which ultimately revealed the aneurysm.

“The MRI comes back, and they sit me down and say, ‘This is a really big deal,’” Bret Baier told People magazine. “And they didn’t know whether it might burst, but if it did, it might have been fatal in a matter of minutes.”

Doctors recommended Paul undergo open-heart surgery as soon as possible. Paul took the news well, his father said.

“He thought I was joking at first, then he absorbed it and said, ‘Okay, let’s do what we need to do,’” Bret Baier said. “He’s always been that warrior, but this was a big one to absorb.”

“As he rolled away on the gurney, it was pretty tough. Very emotional,” he added. “Then we had a waiting game for about 10 hours, which was excruciating.”

In the end, the aneurysm was removed, and Paul’s doctors said he will probably never undergo an open-heart procedure again. He went home five days post-op and is now well into his six-week recovery.

“I’m so grateful to have the community I have, and to have my life,” Paul told People. “A lot can change in a matter of five hours.”

Paul’s mother, Amy, said the experience reassured her that it’s always wise to practice caution and get second and third opinions.

“You can never be too sure, especially with cardiac kids. The more you check on things, the better. In this case, Paul didn’t even have any cardiac symptoms. We just got lucky,” she said.

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