Dominic from Bendigo

Resilient Dom beats the odds

Dominic, 10, was diagnosed with primary ciliary dyskinesia

Dominic Beagley’s 10-year journey at the Royal Children’s Hospital began when his breathing became laboured days after birth.

“We were flown down here from Bendigo when he was three days old in the middle of the night,” said Dom’s mum, Megan Beagley.

“We arrived and a resus room was waiting for us. I was absolutely terrified.

“They did an X-ray and found out that none of his organs were where they were supposed to be.”

For the Bendigo mum, those first few hours were devastating and confronting.

“I’d had my baby and I’d gone home to start this beautiful life and, in a moment, everything came crashing down,” she said.

It took several months before Dom was diagnosed with primary ciliary dyskinesia, which is similar to cystic fibrosis.

The rare genetic disease affects tiny, hairlike structures called cilia that line the airways and can cause chronic infections of the lungs, ears and sinuses.

Like many kids with PCD, Dom also has dextrocardia, meaning his heart is on the right side of his chest.

Luckily, his early diagnosis allowed doctors to give Dom the best possible start to life.

In all, the 10-year-old has notched up about 30 surgeries and procedures at the Royal Children’s.

“He copes incredibly well,” Ms Beagley said. “I think both me and Dom are much kinder and better humans now than we ever could have been. I think having a sick kid makes you a better human.”

Written by Jen Kelly
Photos by David Caird
Published in the Herald Sun 09/02/2024

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