Dominic’s Story

Dominic was born with half a working heart. After an incredibly brave fight, he tragically passed away when he was one week old. His devastated parents share his story:

Dominic was born with the congenital heart defect, hypoplastic right heart syndrome (HRHS) – only half of his heart was working. This didn’t get picked up until our 28week scan and we were told there was a possibility that he might not survive, due to the severity of his heart condition.

As we began to take all this in, and prepare for the long road ahead, our boy decided he wasn’t going to wait any longer… At 32weeks on the 23rd November 2021 at 8:14am, Dominic made his arrival, weighing 3.5lbs.

He was perfect. Dominic was taken straight to NICU, where after just 24hrs he was removed from the ventilator. With the help of medication, his tiny half a heart was fighting away against the odds.

As the days went by he got stronger and more stable, so we began tube feeding formula milk, as my breast milk had not come through yet. He needed to gain weight to have the first of three open heart surgeries to try and fix his tiny heart.

Dominic steadily began to gain weight – a little by little each day. Then on the 31st November, our world fell apart when, at 11:40pm, the hospital called to say he had taken a turn for the worse and we needed to get there.

When we arrived, our boy was back on the ventilator and surrounded by doctors and nurses. After doing all kinds of tests and scans, they found what was making him so ill. He had contracted necrotising enterocolitis (NEC).

Dominic was transferred to another hospital, where they performed emergency surgery to try and remove the infected section of bowl and intestine. The surgeon returned after, what felt like forever and a day, and informed us there was nothing more they could do for our boy. His whole bowl had ruptured and they would need to remove the whole of his bowl and intestine. Without them, he would never be able to gain the weight he needed to start his heart operations, so his heart would eventually fail – it was just a matter of time.

With the heaviest of hearts, we sat with him, held him and told him how much we love him. Surrounded by his brothers and family, he had all the love he ever needed. On the 1st December, he gained his wings and flew off, free from pain, knowing he will be forever loved.

Dominic – you gave us the best week of our lives and put up the biggest fight ever. We will be forever grateful you chose us to be your mum and dad. Love you always our special boy – until we reunite.

Find out more about how we support bereaved parents here.