Dominick is one of more than 500 contest entrants from across the United States and Canada. In the first four weeks of voting, Dominick has received more than 3,700 votes.
“(Dominick) comes from a big family that really loves him,” said Maureen Carey, a registered nurse who spends 40 hours a week with Dominick. “They feel that nothing is too much to do for him. He’s included in everything; he’s a very big part of everyone’s life.”
Dominick suffered a lack of oxygen to his brain at birth from a condition called vasa previa, in which blood vessels within the placenta or umbilical cord are trapped between the fetus and the opening of the birth canal. His numerous medical conditions, from respiratory trouble to seizures, require a nurse caregiver seven days a week.
Over the course of his life, he’s had more than 30 surgeries and countless medical procedures. Laura takes him to a continual stream of medical appointments.
He makes up for having limited sight with a keen sense of hearing. Dominick loves listening to his brothers and is very perceptive as to what’s going on in the room, Laura says.
Dominick — like any teenage older brother — “cracks up laughing” when he hears his brothers getting into trouble, she said.
“He’s very nosy. He likes to know what’s going on,” Laura says, breaking into a smile. “He’s a happy guy, considering all he’s been through.”
Turning to Dominick, who was in the room during a Salem News interview, Laura said, “You have a lot to be angry about, but you’re pretty happy.”
Dominick, hearing his mother, responded with a smile.
Among the shelves of medical supplies in Dominick’s brightly colored bedroom are posters, stuffed animals and stickers that read “rock star” on his bed.