Cares For Kids: Miracle Kid Judah Dantonio
Rochseter, N.Y. (WHAM) - Watch Judah Dantonio run around in his backyard and you see a fun loving four year old.
"He's like every other kid," said Nick Dantonio, Judah's dad.. "He runs around and you would never know that he’s basically functioning on half a heart."
Nearly five years ago and at just five days old, Judah was diagnosed with hypoplastic heart syndrome where two of his four heart chambers were not functioning.
"It took us a while to really accept that," said Liz Dantonio, Judah's mom. "I was thinking once we did all the emotions really came out. Especially running on no sleep and you know you have these expectations of what it’s going to be like and it was just turned upside down."
At Golisano Children’s Hospital, Dr. George Alfieris performed surgery on Judah. The result was excellent - but Judah's battle had just begun. The Dantonios decided the best way for their family to cope would be to share in the joy for other families who went home before their son.
Liz said that was not easy.
"It was the kind of situation where you fake it before you make it," she said. "And we could see how it helped other families' lives."
Judah became one of those kids going home. But he had a second surgery at one year old. Later he had a second surgery at one and later dealt with a severe respiratory infection. Judah turned five this fall and another surgery is possible.
"Whether he has another surgery or a heart transplant, it is only going to improve his quality of life and it's already so great," Liz said. "It will only go up from here."
To support patients like Judah and the new improvements at the hospital, you can donate online here.