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Samantha & Deanna Dominque - A village comes together

Samantha & Deanna Dominque - A village comes together

Deanna has numerous health problems which started when she was just two weeks old. She caught meningitis which resulted in her having a stroke after which she had a shunt fitted.  She also has cerebral palsy, is visually impaired and has epilepsy.

At the age of seven, Deanna became unwell with what her family thought was a virus, but then it became apparent that something wasn’t right. She was taken to her local hospital, where they ran lots of tests and they found that the shunt Deanna had been fitted with was causing problems.  She was then transferred as an emergency to St George’s Hospital.  When mum Sam arrived at the hospital later on, Deanna was in surgery and Sam remembers being in a corridor on her own, waiting for news.  Deanna ended up having 24 shunt revisions as the original shunt was embedded deep into her brain.  It was deemed to be too dangerous to remove, but then it became infected.  Deanna went on to spend almost a year on her ward at St George’s and there were times when her parents admit to wondering if she’d ever come home with them.

Sam says, “When I think about what St George’s means to me and my family… St George’s saved Deanna’s life. So, that’s immense.  If it wasn’t for the team and what they do, she wouldn’t be here.  They’re very very important to us and I think they always will be for what they’ve done!”

Samantha contacted us in 2014 about fundraising and when we got talking, we discovered that her family and friends had big plans! Thankfully Deanna and her parents have a great support network and everyone got involved in some way.  Some did an incredibly challenging series of three triathlons in three days in different countries.  Another brave friend of the family shaved his head and more friends and family members did several bucket collections after performances at a local theatre.

All together, they raised more than £7,000 and were delighted that the Play Room staff at St George’s decided to use their funds to buy an amazing piece of sensory equipment called a magic carpet. This allows the play therapists to project an interactive image onto the floor or a bed to soothe, entertain and distract a child.

We would like to thank Sam, Deanna, their family and friends for sharing their story and for their incredible support, which will help us to bring more additional benefits to our young patients at St George’s.

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