I continue to be haunted by thoughts of the sweet people I met in the hospital, the people who never leave or who spend a great deal of their life in the hospital. I do not think I will ever forget them, they have changed my perspective forever, or at least, I hope they have. I am not sure what I will do with that experience, the experience of meeting this whole group of people who live a very different existence than the vast majority; they humbled me, they made me grateful, they made me sad and oddly enough, they made me hopeful. To say that they have made a place in the deepest part of my heart would be truthful, and I think my future interactions and perspective will always come from that place. Some people thought it was interesting when I mentioned that I would be going back to my "princess" life again :) It is true though, I realize that what I experienced with Dominic in the hospital was just brushing the top of the capacity for humans to suffer. It is actually a beautiful mystery that is rooted in love, out of suffering comes great love. Anyways, I could forever bore you with my thoughts on this subject, so on to talking about the incredible people who work with the suffering in the hospital.
I would be remiss if I never wrote this, please read this part because this man deserves a THANK YOU beyond what we will ever be able to give him. How can we thank the man who gave our son a face? How can we thank him for giving us hope when all hope was lost? When everyone else only saw a problem in my son's face, he saw a solution. When everyone else gave no hope, he gave us a personal phone call to tell us, "It's going to be alright, I have seen this before, I can work with this!". After Dominic was born, this Doctor continued to keep up with his progress always sending e-mails making sure all was well. This doctor made it possible for us to come out for a second opinion and then he made it possible with insurance for Dominic's surgery to be covered. This doctor got a team of experts together that planned and practiced the surgery weeks beforehand so that his actual surgery ended up being only 7 1/2 hours instead of the expected 12-14. This doctor believed in Dominic's life as being valuable and worth all that went into saving him. This doctor continues to want to be in Dominic's life, even if insurance will not cover more surgeries out in Boston, he wants to see his care through to the end of his growing years, so much so that he sent home a robot with us to keep up on his care. This doctor truly cares... THANK YOU SO MUCH DR. MEARA!!!! I say this with tears, I cannot thank you enough!
Dr. Meara and Dominic (he takes true joy in what he does)
Dr. Meara and Dr. Proctor the neurosurgeon (equally wonderful!)
Dr. Meara visiting Dominic via the "robot" (Mark is holding Dominic)
He can see Dominic's sutures and his general behavior, making sure all is well.
Dr. Meara signing consent forms the morning of surgery.
Boston Children's was an incredible place to be and we are so grateful we had Dominic's surgery there for many reasons. Mark and I were always included as part of the team and what we said was always respected and put into consideration! The expertise of each department was evident which was so important seeing as we were dealing with some serious issues with Dominic.
That doesn't even begin to touch upon the people of Boston!! The people of Boston
: the community, the outreach, the support was amazing. Again, I feel as if we will never be able to adequately thank everyone in Boston for what they have done for our whole family. Here is an example of what kind of people we found in Boston. One of the women from St. Bernadette's parish wrote this:
Please join us on Friday, February 8th at 7pm for mass at St. Bernadette Parish in Northbough, MA (route 20).
This is a wonderful opportunity to come together as a community to celebrate mass in thanksgiving for Dominic Pio Gundrum's successful surgery at Children's Hospital. We will continue to pray for his healing. Finally, this will be an opportunity for all of the families who helped to make the Gundrum's stay in Massachusetts run smoothly. Though networking and email we rallied for the Gundrum family and helped them through a challenging month.
Refreshments and coffee will be served in the parish center following mass.
We hope you can join us!
The other parish that was so instrumental with helping and supporting us, Mary Immaculate of Lourdes, will be, I believe, coming together with this parish at this Mass. Can you believe this? I only wish we could go! The people from these two churches supported us so much, we are so grateful to you!
And now to leave you with a couple of photos of Dominic around the home: (click on the pictures to see them larger, you can really see how he is healing!)
And one more very special picture sent in by Claudia 11 yrs. She drew this picture of Dominic sleeping and an angel watching over him. We love it and will have it framed!!! Thank you!!