Dominic’s parents, Anthony and Nicole Khoury, would be delivered debilitating news. When he went into cardiac arrest, he suffered brain hypoxia and because of the oxygen deprivation, Dominic would be left with a disability and forever need 24 hour care.
Anthony and Nicole’s life was flipped upside down as they tried to understand how a perfectly healthy child’s heart could fail, but an undetected underlying heart condition was the reason. Dominic had to spend months in the intensive care unit in his home town of Sydney, Australia. Since that day, Anthony would not go back to work and would take on the responsibility of being Dominic’s full time care taker.
“We’ve gone from having a healthy five year old boy who was living life, loving life and being the boy everyone knew to being confined to a wheelchair due to the sever brain injury,” says Anthony.
Dominic was going to require intensive therapy since he lost all motor functions. The Khoury family learned about the Neurological and Physical Abilitation Center (NAPA), an organization that provides individuals with disabilities cutting-edge treatments and therapies. However, the NAPA Center is located in sunny Southern California… 8,150 miles from the Khoury’s home.
Dominic and Anthony made their first trip to the NAPA center in November, 2014 while the rest of the family stayed in Australia. They wouldn’t need to worry about where they were going to lay their head at night to rest because the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House would become their safe haven.
“When I first walked through the doors of the long Beach Ronald McDonald House I had this wow experience,” says Anthony. “To have staff that makes you feel welcome means the world to us. After each intensive therapy session that Dominic has it’s nice to know I can make my way here knowing that I have a home to come to. It’s not just going to anyone’s house and it’s not just a hotel. You’re actually coming home.”
Dominic and Nicole have had a very difficult time coming to grips about what happened but their focus for the future is having Dominic have the best quality of life. Dominic and Anthony travel to Southern California six weeks at a time for intense treatment. Since starting at the NAPA Center, Dominic can now hold his own head up, hold a spoon and make eye contact. Together with the help of the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House they are finding hope very far from home.