Life Moving Forward is hosting a National Mobility Awareness Month contest that will award a handicapped-accessible van to the big winner and a city teen is in the running.
Earlier this week, a family member of Dominick Pacheco, 14, of Salem, asked us to get the word out about the contest and to see if we'd help get him as many votes as possible.
CLICK HERE to vote for Dominick. You can only vote once a day.
My name is Dominick Pacheco and I am fourteen years old. I am asking for your help, and this is my story.
I experienced severe blood loss and suffered a devastating brain injury due to the lack of oxygen at birth from an undiagnosed Vasa Previa.
Vasa Previa is a rare condition in which blood vessels between the placenta and the umbilical cord are trapped between the baby and the opening to the birth canal…. with the onset of labor, these vessels rupture and will cause the baby to bleed out. There is a 5% chance of survival should the vessels rupture. I am one of the survivors!
I have had over 30 surgeries and countless medical procedures in my short 14 years of life. I now suffer from the anoxic brain injury, cerebral palsy, reflux, and seizures. I have cortical vision blindness and can only see 6 to 12 inches away. I am non-verbal, non-ambulatory, cannot sit or stand up by myself and I am unable to swallow food so I must be fed through a tube in my belly. I also have a tube in my neck that I breathe through called a tracheotomy. I have central apnea, chronic respiratory insufficiency, obstructive sleep apnea, and I am C-PAP machine dependent. I require frequent suction to help me to be able to breathe comfortably, and must have my oximeter on at all times so that my caregivers can tell when I need help. Sometimes when I’m sick, I require oxygen, and lots of chest PT.
Please don’t let my disability fool you; I am a happy young man and can brighten up any room with my infectious smile. I love, love, love being surrounded by my family and friends. I delight in going outside and listening to my three younger brothers play and sometimes get in trouble ((giggle)). I’m growing heavier and getting bigger and bigger everyday. It’s getting more and more difficult for my parents to pick me up out of my wheelchair and lift me into and out of the car and then back into my wheelchair again. I’m a teenager now and I don’t like to be stuck in the house all the time.