Two years ago, Ryan Murphy‘s world was turned upside down.
The American Horror Story creator, 52, revealed in a bittersweet Instagram post on Monday that his youngest son Ford, 4, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2016 and underwent multiple procedures to battle the cancer.
“I’d like you to meet Ford Theodore Miller Murphy. Today is a big day in his and our family’s lives,” Murphy captioned a smiling Instagram photo of Ford riding a horse.
“Two years ago, this sweet little innocent boy with a deep belly laugh and an obsession with Monster Trucks was diagnosed with neuroblastoma…an often fatal pediatric cancer. Ford’s cancer — an abdominal tumor the size of a tennis ball — was found during a normal check up by his brilliant pediatrician Dr. Lauren Crosby @drlaurencrosby,” explained Murphy. “From there, Ford has undergone a huge surgery and several difficult procedures.”
According to the American Cancer Society, “neuroblastoma starts in certain very early forms of nerve cells, most often found in an embryo or fetus” and the “type of cancer occurs most often in infants and young children. It is rare in children older than 10 years.”
Murphy and his photographer husband, David Miller, privately dealt with the fear and pain of watching their young son fight for his life.
“My better half, David Miller, was a rock through this — strong and patient and loving (I was always a trembling wreck),” wrote Murphy, who also shares son Logan Phineas, 5, with Miller.
Today, the family of four is celebrating Ford’s drastically improved health.
“Ford was strong as well, and today he is thriving. He just celebrated his fourth birthday, a milestone we are all so thrilled about. Ford is doing so well because of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles @childrensla,” Murphy wrote.
“Today at the hospital we are donating a wing in tribute to Ford and our family is making a gift of $10 million dollars so that other children can experience the love and care of this exceptional facility. No child is turned away at Children’s Hospital,” he continued. “We are so honored and lucky to contribute, and encourage everybody who can to do the same. We love you, Ford.”
Earlier this year, Murphy opened up about the “traumatic” night Ford nearly died as an infant.
“I had a newborn baby. My son Ford was 11 months old and in the middle of the night stopped breathing,” the Glee creator said at the winter 2018 Television Critics Association press tour in January.
“We called 911. Obviously we were in panic and we were doing CPR and they showed up at 2 a.m. in the morning. There were four responders. They were incredibly and calm and nurturing. They forced me to leave the room,” Murphy explained at the 9-1-1 panel. “They brought him back to life.”
The experience inspired Murphy’s Fox drama, 9-1-1, which follows emergency responders who must try to balance saving those who are at their most vulnerable with solving problems in their own lives.
According to Murphy, Ford had a “tracheal blockage in his throat that is genetic” — something he was born with and his parents were unaware of. “When they took him to the hospital they did a procedure to correct that,” he said.
Reflecting on the terrifying night, Murphy credited the emergency responders with saving Ford’s life.
“If they hadn’t shown up, I think my son would’ve died,” he said.