Scott Baio went from confirmed bachelor to doting dad last November when his daughter Bailey DeLuca was born, telling PEOPLE, “I’ve loved my life. My life has been great, but this [fatherhood] makes it.”
Then, just one day after his baby girl came home from the hospital, Baio, 47, and his then-fiancée Renee Sloan, 39, were hit with shocking news – Bailey had tested positive for a potentially fatal disorder, according to the couple’s account on Celebrity Baby Blog.
“[I could] hear it in her voice,” Renee said of a call from the pediatrician for them to bring Bailey to the hospital for more tests. After some tests showed the premature baby might have GA-1, a metabolic disorder that can cause seizures and leads to coma and even death, the couple were torn apart with worry. “It was the worst time in my life,” Baio admitted.
“Every breath that you take, every thought that you have, every moment that you’re conscious, it’s all you’re thinking about,” Baio told CBB. “The disease is a constant in your brain. It never leaves you.”
The couple married in December, showing no signs that Bailey, who was at the ceremony, might be sick. But, “every time [Scott] would see a child, see a baby, he would just break down,” said Renee. “It was so tough to go through the holidays, our wedding … all the while knowing, our kid may die.”
Testing took 10 weeks, and when doctors told the couple Bailey was completely healthy and in the clear – the result had been a false positive – “we jumped through the ceiling,” Baio said.
Now 7-months old, Bailey is healthy but her parents have a thankful outlook and want to use their experience to help others.
“In a way I’m glad I went through it. Because this sort of thing puts everything else in perspective,” Baio said, adding of the foundation they are establishing, “We know we need to be a voice here, and that’s what we’re trying to do.