Baby Dominic Pio Gundrum Beats Rare Birth Defect

Baby Dominic Pio Gundrum Beats Rare Birth Defect

Dominic Pio Gundrum is a lucky little boy. About halfway through her pregnancy, Dominic’s mother learned the infant she was carrying had encephalocele, a decidedly rare birth defect that results in the skull of the infant not closing properly, allowing the child’s brain to grow through the opening. And had little Dominic had the misfortune to have been conceived by different parents, his life might have ended at the hands of a late term abortionist. But Dominic’s parents refused any consideration of ending his life, not even with the knowledge that there existed a very real possibility that Dominic may not even survive birth. But he did. And what happened next is no less than miraculous.

Little Dominic’s parents had no intention of giving up on their precious boy. So they did what many of us do when we need immediate information: they scoured the internet. And, since the birth defect Dominic had was so rare—only about 375 children are born with the defect each year—finding a solution proved difficult. But after an exhaustive search, they found one: Boston Children’s Hospital’s Plastic Surgeon in Chief, Dr. John Meara. But Dr. Meara would soon learn that encephalocele was not baby Dominic’s only challenge. Via examinations, Dr. Meara learned that Dominic suffered a Tessier facial cleft, too. This meant that the two halves of his face and his head did not join during his development, so Dr. Meara would need to develop a plan to address both issues. And address it he did.

Dominic Pio Gundrum Before Surgery
Dominic Pio Gundrum Before Surgery

You can read more about Dominic’s lengthy procedure, here. From the

“Fortunately, the mass that protruded over part of the baby’s face wasn’t brain tissue, but fluid, some of which was released during the procedure….in an infant or young child, the brain’s plasticity allows other parts of the organ to take over those functions that don’t work well.

To prepare for the surgery, Meara had a three-dimensional acrylic model made of the baby’s head and face.

“I knew going into the operation exactly where to make the cuts,” he said. He made those cuts around the bones of Dominic’s eyes and upper jaw and moved the two halves of the jaw and the eyes together. He merged the two noses into one, and two sections of the upper lip.

“We took two halves of his face and brought it together into one,” Meara said.

Thrilled with the result, the doctors high-fived one another and hugged the parents. But the challenges didn’t end in the operating room. In the days following, Dominic had seizures, developed fungal meningitis, and suffered respiratory and feeding problems. He remained at the hospital for a month—three weeks in intensive care—before returning to Wisconsin with his mother…

The doctors have told the Gundrums that Dominic will walk and talk. “Developmentally, he seems to be appropriate for his age,” Meara said of Dominic…“I think it’s entirely possible that he will be an entirely normal little guy.”

Dominic Pio Following Surgery
Dominic Pio Gundrum After Surgery

This past summer, Dominic, with his family at his side, celebrated his first birthday. Though he may have some lingering challenges, Dominic is a happy, thriving one-year-old, thanks to the courage and unwavering determination of his pro-life parents and a team of surgical miracle workers.

Little Dominic is fortunate. Aside from the consequences ObamaCare will have on special needs children, being diagnosed with one birth defect is life-threatening in and of itself. But, amid an abortion culture that too often sees even the most minute imperfection as rationale for termination, and whose providers profit from extinguishing lives like Dominic’s every day, being saddled with multiple birth defects too often leads to a death sentence. Little Dominic is proof positive that the abortion industry is habitually careless and unforgiving in its indiscriminate slaughter.

No one is perfect. Everyone deserves a chance at life, no matter how small that chance may be. But don’t take my word for it. Ask high school basketball prodigy Zach Hodskins who, because of a birth defect, was born without the lower half of his left arm. He was just recruited to Florida—yeah, he’s that good—with the solid possibility of a full scholarship in his future.

“When I’m out [on the court], I forget my arm isn’t there and just play ball,” Hodskins told the News-Herald of Northern Ohio. “Passion and love for the sport helps me overcome all obstacles. To this day I haven’t come across anything I can’t do.”

We should all strive to be so imperfect.

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  • GWB says:

    Thank you, Jodi, for inspiring stories like these. It’s amazing what love – and the God of love – can do.

  • Pen44 says:

    How magnificently wonderful is our God!!! Jesus held those doctors and Dominic in the palm of His hand to be a blessing to everyone. These loving parents are truly blessed, and continue to bless their son.

    Thank you for this story…lovely to read of such loving people!!

  • Jennifer says:

    What a CUTIE!!! Thanks for the smile!

  • Kevin says:

    It’s nice to know that with the Affordable Healthcare Act, Baby Dominic will be able to get covered for his birth defect as he gets older and will not be denied coverage because a “pre-existing condition.”

    • GWB says:

      So, good thing this happened before Obamacare, so he won’t *have* that pre-existing condition.

      • Kevin says:

        I can imagine that this little treasure of joy for his family will probably have many issues that arise from his birth defect which will always be considered a “pre-existing” condition.

        He will also be surrounded by the most loving and giving parents and family members that no matter what happens medically, he will always be cherished.

        • Jodi Giddings says:

          Kevin, we didn’t need 2500+ pages of taxes and regulations to amend the pre-existing conditions issue. Never mind the millions of us who are losing the healthcare policies we liked just fine in exchange for a complete mess that the Democrats (aka Socialists) created, including inferior policies with significantly higher price tags. You are aware of the fact that FSA contributions have been severely limited in this craptastic law, which many parents of special needs kids rely on for ongoing health needs like Dominic’s, right?

          “Obamacare Flexible Spending Account Tax:

          The 30 – 35 million Americans who use a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family’s basic medical needs face a new Obamacare cap of $2,500. This will squeeze $13 billion of tax money from Americans over the next ten years … Now, a parent looking to sock away extra money to pay for braces will find themselves quickly hitting this new cap, meaning they would have to pony up some or all of the cost with after-tax dollars.

          There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. Nationwide there are several million families with special needs children and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. This Obamacare tax provision will limit the options available to these families.”

  • Kate says:

    Yay Baby Dominic and Zach!

  • Danielle says:

    Really, you can make this about politics? Shame on you. God bless baby Dominic!

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