Damian

 

Damian was a spontaneous breach birth at home. The policeman who responded to the emergency knew Teri and called her regarding the child. There was obviously something wrong. Damian was taken with his mother to the hospital and soon after Damian's mother called Teri to find him a home. 

So, Teri took Damian in and initially, he was supposed to go to another family. However, after seeing him, Teri noticed through her medical training that Damian had a heart murmur. She called her pediatrician, and took him there right away to confirm it was true.

Not wanting to give a sick baby to someone else and after falling in love with the child, Teri decided to keep the baby herself. He has been with Teri since he’s 10 days old. Damian would have many heart problems including five open-heart surgeries, five pace makers and functions on one lung with a paralyzed diaphragm.

When Damian was 16, he was silver medalist in men’s all around gymnastics on the state level but had to stop for health reasons. Teri was told that she should prepare for his death. She decided to make the best of his life, get him the best medical care and found things he was interested in like acting, drama and poetry. This dramatically changed his prognosis.

Now 31 years old, he competes in equestrian during the Special Olympics and rides Western due to his oxygen tank. Damian loves acting, and is currently rehearsing for a part in “Fiddler on the Roof”. He sings and plays the piano in local nursing homes and churches.

Damian attends the continuum at the college of Staten island two nights a week. He spends his down time making bracelets for cancer awareness.