Bela Farkas

August 8, 1994 - Michael Jackson and his then wife Lisa Marie Presley met the four year-old boy during a visit to the Bethesda Children`s Hospital when MJ was in Budapest, Hungary shooting a music video. Doctors at the hospital told MJ that Bela`s mother had abandoned him and that his father rarely visited him. MJ and Lisa Marie were so taken with the boy, who had been in the hospital since his birth, that they returned the following day for several hours to visit with him. Bela was diagnosed with a congenital liver disease that discolored his skin and prevented him from digesting food. Without a transplant, doctors gave him one year to live.

Bela`s transplant was to take place at a Western hospital, as those in Hungary did not have the necessary equipment for the transplant. The estimated cost for the transplant was $120, 000. MJ pledged funds from Heal the World, the charitable foundation he created in 1992 to cover all expenses related to Bela`s transplant.

 

 
Michael Jackson remembers that in Private Home Movies TV Special, 2003:
 
"I saw this little kid (at a hospital in Budapest, Hungary), his name was Farkas. He was very sick. He was green in the face. But he had this glow, this sparkle in his eye.
 
I asked his nurse, "What’s wrong with this kid?" She said that he needs a liver.
So I said, "Does that mean he’s gonna die?"
 
She said, "Yes, he’s gonna die unless he gets a liver".
 
I said, I’m not gonna let him die. This sweet, sweet angel. No matter what it takes, I’m gonna find a liver for him.
 
So I sent my ("Heal The World") organization around the world. We went all over the place and it took a long time. And I said, I’m not giving up. I’m not going to have the child die. I was so happy when I got a phone call. They told me, "We’ve found a liver!" And he has his life. I’m so proud that I could help him. God bless him. I love you, Farkas."