Published on November 06, 2012
Dominic Boudreau is all smiles as he plays in his home following a day at school. He was also all smiles when he and his family recently went on a wish trip to Disneyworld.TINA COMEAU PHOTO
Published on November 06, 2012
Dominic Boudreau (centre) with his family and Mickey Mouse during a Children’s Wish Foundation trip to Disneyworld. Pictured with him (left to right) are his mother Tracy, brothers Carson and Riley and his dad Calvin.
By Tina Comeau
When Dominic Boudreau gets home from school, the Grade 2 student is all about play. On the kitchen table he spreads out plastic army men and before you know it he’s built shelters and bases and if you’re not careful your arm will have to serve as a makeshift bunker if you happen to be leaning on the table.
He’s only limited by his imagination and this seven-year-old has that department covered in droves.
What you don’t see when you’re seated next to him is the long scar covered by his shirt that is a constant reminder to his family – parents Calvin and Tracy and brothers Riley and Carson – about how fortunate they are to have Dominic in their lives.
Tracy recalls the day her son was born. About a week overdue and weighing 10 pounds, it was immediately apparent at his birth that something was wrong.
“He didn’t cry and he was greyish and they knew something was wrong but they didn’t know what was wrong,” she says. “After hour upon hour he started getting worse and worse and our doctor said I have a feeling it’s a cardiac problem but I can't diagnose it because I don’t have the equipment. We’re sending him to Halifax.”
Once in Halifax it didn’t take long to diagnosis the problem. The baby had a transposition of the great arteries, which meant the aorta and the one of his pulmonary arteries were connected to wrong ventricle. Therefore blood with oxygen from his lungs was not getting to the rest of his little body as it was supposed to. To repair this heart defect Dominic underwent open-heart surgery two days after he was born.
“The surgery was six hours,” says his mother. “It was a long six hours.”
The scar hidden under his clothing is a constant reminder of Dominic’s start in life, as is the lifelong monitoring he will be subjected to, although for now he only needs to visit a cardiologist once every couple of years. Still, the family feels every day with him is a blessing and recently they had the opportunity to celebrate his life in grand style when Dominic was granted a wish through the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. Tracy Boudreau says people often asked her if Dominic would qualify for a wish, so she started making some inquiries given that referrals for wishes can come from many sources.
“For us it gave us a chance to celebrate the life with Dominic that we didn’t know if we were going to have when he was born." Tracy Boudreau
“Dominic was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and he received a life-saving surgery to correct it, that is in the criteria and he meets both,” his mother says. It’s no longer like the days when a child had to be terminally ill to be granted a wish, although there still is a risk to their health.
“I think they realized that nobody can play God and medicine has come so far since then. Big, big strides have been made,” says Jean Doucette, who with others founded the local chapter of the Children’s Wish Foundation 24 years ago when criteria for a wish included a much more grim outlook for the child.
And that’s a message that Dominic’s family wants to get out, that wishes are also about hope and strength.
Although there is no guarantee that all wishes will be approved, Doucette says it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask. She can be reached at 742-2126 for more information.
Dominic chose a family trip to Disneyworld in Florida as his wish. The family stayed at the Give Kids the World Village where the mother says the generosity and graciousness that was bestowed upon them was amazing.
“They just want the kids to go and have fun and make the memories,” says Tracy Boudreau – memories, she says, that don’t involve doctors’ appointments, hospitals, needles or medications.
“For us it gave us a chance to celebrate the life with Dominic that we didn’t know if we were going to have when he was born,” she says.
You can visit the Children's Wish Foundation of Canada website by clicking here.