HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) — Eight-year-old Grant Domagala is a superhero; a seemingly normal child lurking among us — unsuspecting.
The thing is, he’s not supposed to be here. He’s beaten the odds of a rare heart condition time and again.
And like most superheroes, he’s also teaching important lessons. You could say his superpower is gratitude.
“You’re thrown into this world of words, you have absolutely no idea what they mean. It’s very scary. It’s terrible,” said Grant’s mother Jessica Domagala.
But the words have meaning. And until recently, the meaning wasn’t good.
“Tetralogy of fallot, pulmonary atresia,” said Jill Cholette, medical director of the pediatric care center at Golisano Children’s Hospital. “That means that Grant did not have the proper connection from his heart to his lungs.”
The prognosis was dim, terminal.
But doctors in Rochester didn’t just operate. They performed a miracle.
Since that first surgery at just three weeks old, Grant’s had two others. Three of the most complex open heart surgeries, one for every two years of life.
Along the way, the Domogalas also learned to appreciate the little things. Be more present.
Sitting around the Thanksgiving table Thursday, they didn’t have too look far to see exactly why they’re thankful.
In addition to his extraordinary will to live, Grant’s vital organs have performed beyond expectation.
So, naturally, each represents a different superhero.
Another of his boyish powers? A wry humor and quick wit.
For now, though, the Domagalas are choosing to spend the holidays just as they have the past eight years — with nothing but joy in their lives., and hope in their hearts.