Michael Jackson met him in the Bethesda Children’s Hospital in 1994 and paid not only for his life-saving surgery but also the whole recovery process after that. According to Bors, Tamás Farkas (previously Béla, 28) is now working for a meat processing company, and he would like to buy a flat for his family someday.
Hungary learnt Béla Farkas’s name 24 years ago when the American pop icon saved him from a severe liver disease by paying his liver transplant operation in Brussels worth 30 million HUF (EUR 92,500). Jacko wanted to help at any costs, so he did not only pay for the surgery but also for the whole recovery process of the little boy. Altogether,
he paid almost 50 million HUF (EUR 154,000).
Thus, though without help doctors gave only months for the little boy, Béla was given a chance to start a new and full life. However, even though he became world-famous, his biological parents abandoned him because they were not able to look after him after the surgery. Thus, shortly after the operation, Béla was adopted and, his adoptive parents changed his name to Tamás.
Tamás (Béla) Farkas on video with Michael Jackson in 1994:
In fact, he said to Bors that he still has the teddy bear he received from Jackson then. Furthermore, when Jackson came again to Budapest in 1996 he booked a room in his hotel for him and, he allowed him to sit in his limousine. Moreover, they could watch his concert in a VIP box together with his adoptive parents. Anything he wanted – toys, sweets – was paid by Jackson who was always very friendly with him.
Tamás and Jackson stayed in touch until Michael’s death in 2009. Michael sent Tamás cards, birthday and, Christmas gifts, and Tamás answered with drawings and photos. Michael Jackson said later about his immediate help that “saving his life was definitely
one of the most important moments in my life.”
Tamás said in an interview before that provided he was able to ask a question from Jackson he would ask why he saved him and not another child in the hospital.
Tamás Farkas is now 28 years old, and in February 2014 he became the father of a healthy newborn girl. He said to Bors that he is not mad at his biological parents, but he thinks that everything can be solved if tried hard enough. He added that some years before he managed to find his biological parents but received only evasive answers to his questions regarding his adoption. Thus, he considers his adoptive parents his real family and, though they only meet rarely, they are in contact.
However, even though he recovered fully from his disease, he had many downs in his life. He and his wife lost a baby and three years ago
they stood on the brink of eviction.
However, thanks to a fundraising campaign they managed to escape it and found a new home. Tamás has now a permanent job. He is working in shifts in Perbál (Pest county) for a sausage processing company. He says that he travels four hours every day, but he likes his job and his colleagues. Furthermore, they are preparing now for the birth of their next baby in November who is expected to be a boy.
Finally, he added that they would like to buy a flat which they can leave to their children because they cannot give them much money.