A fundraising campaign has been launched for a two-year-old’s therapies, equipment and home alterations, to allow him to live a “fulfilled and happy life”.
Two-year-old Dominic, from Brackley, has fought hard for his life since he was in his mother Daniela Butunoi’s tummy, due to being severely growth-restricted and due to Daniela developing preeclampsia.
Whilst Daniela was being monitored in hospital, doctors decided it was best for her to have a caesarean as soon as possible – as Dominic was not receiving enough blood and oxygen.
Dominic was delivered via c-section at 28 weeks and weighed only 770 grams. He had to be intubated after three minutes of life and remained this way for 30 days.
At 31 days old, a brain MRI showed bilateral cysts and Dominic’s family were told he had brain damage and would most likely not be able to walk or talk.
“This was really hard to hear and my heart was so broken, but I had to be strong for him,” said Daniela.
During the stay in hospital, Dominic caught many bacteria and developed sepsis. Four months later, the family were able to come home for the first time with Dominic on oxygen.
He was also diagnosed with quadruple cerebral palsy, adrenal insufficiency, congenital hypothyroidism, chronic lung disease, and his vision is affected.
Soon after the family made it home, they started to look for therapies, equipment and any information that may guide them in the right direction following the diagnoses.
Now, at two years old, Dominic is still not able to crawl, sit, walk or talk, but is doing great in therapies and working hard to reach those milestones.
For him to continue his journey, Dominic’s family will need funds to travel across the country to different therapy centres where he can be seen – which is where Just4Children have stepped in to help raise the funds to make this happen.
Daniela said: “His smile and determination can move mountains. He is our sweet superhero.”
Talking to this newspaper, Daniela shared that another organisation that offers therapies for children with cerebral palsy advised her to reach out to Just4Children for financial support.
When asked how it felt that Just4Children wanted to help and support Dominic in getting what he needs to develop, Daniela said: “It gave me so much hope for Dominic – it gave me hope that we can raise the funds so he can continue the therapy he needs.”
As Daniela and Dominic’s family are paying for the therapy themselves and their savings are coming to an end, the two-year-old’s mother shared they had “no other option than to reach out to others”.
“There are no words to say how much it would mean,” said Daniela, when asked how much of a difference the £25,000 fundraising target would make to Dominic’s life.
“It is all we can hope for. Without this money, we won’t be able to pay for the therapy he needs and he won’t be able to reach his full potential.”
Daniela shared that Dominic has made slow and gradual progress in therapy over the first two years of his life.
He began not being able to hold his head up, but can now do so for a short period of time. He has also started to reach out with his hands, can stand for a few seconds with support, and is progressing with his rolling and crawling.
Talking about receiving the news of Dominic’s complications at the start of his life, Daniela said: “I instantly started crying. Although I work in the field with people with autism, knowing my son will have to work hard and possibly won’t be able to walk or talk is heartbreaking.”
For anyone reading this who may be considering donating, Daniela says it would “mean the world” to her, Dominic and their family.
“Without his therapies, he wouldn’t be able to develop,” she said.