Condition: Severe Congenital Heart Defect
City, State: Grants Pass, OR
Club: Grants Pass High School Sparrow Club Service Hours:
Date Adopted: 11/02/2017
Dominic's Story:Dominic (“Dude” to his family and friends) is a very friendly, sweet, and outgoing 10-year-old boy who loves baseball, video games, jumping on his trampoline, Harry Potter, and Legos. In many ways, Dominic is your typical fun-loving kid. However, Dominic’s life is anything but typical.
Dominic was born on April 10th, 2006 with a very severe congenital heart defect. A normal, healthy heart has four chambers. Dominic’s heart has only one, and he is completely missing his pulmonary artery. At only 8 days old, Dominic endured his first open-heart surgery in which doctors installed synthetic pulmonary valve, along with a shunt to help circulate blood. At approximately 4 months old, Dominic had to have surgery on his stomach because it was on the wrong side.
Altogether, since birth Dominic has endured five open-heart surgeries. Each surgery brought a difficult recovery for Dominic and he nearly died during some of them. When he was 5 years old, Dominic suffered 4 strokes during surgery. These strokes caused him to become blind, deaf, and lose the ability to walk and talk. It took two months of in-patient therapy in Portland for Dominic to regain those skills. To this day, Dominic’s right hand does not work, and his right leg drags when he walks.
Dominic needs a heart transplant and has been on the transplant list for one year. Recently, Dominic was diagnosed with “failure to thrive,” after not having gained a single pound over the last year. His mother (Whitney) is working closely with doctors to do whatever can be done to help Dominic gain enough weight to be healthy enough to endure a heart transplant operation.
When the time for transplant comes, Dominic and Whitney will have to uproot their lives from Grants Pass and live in San Francisco for 3 months.
At 10 years old, Dominic has the courage, inner strength, and wisdom of people many times his age. In other words, although Dominic literally has half of a physical heart, he definitely has “heart” in the way he lives his life in spite of his physical challenges. This makes Dominic an inspiration to all who meet him.
Dominic will be adopted as a Sparrow to Grants Pass High School. Students at GPHS will work hard to raise money for Dominic through sponsored community service and fundraising projects.