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.
20 years later
"I once asked Michael what he considered to be his greatest achievement. [...] "Saving Bela's life was definitely one of the most important moments in my life," said Michael honestly, furthermore highlighting what a caring humanitarian he was."
With a teddy bear from Michael in 2018: