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24

M

arian

H

elper

 • W

inter

2016-17

 

• marian.org

R

unning around the living room as

a superhero, fighting “bad guys”

with his toy sword, making forts and

jumping on beds, Peter Dunn seems like a

typical 5-year-old boy. He goes to pre-school

and loves playing with his siblings. No one

would know he only has half a heart — that

he needed three surgeries to survive his first

two years of life, and is awaiting yet another

surgery in the coming months.

In 2011, Kerri and Mark Dunn of Foster,

Rhode Island, had been happily married for

11 years. The two high school sweethearts

had five healthy children. When Mark, a

firefighter, and Kerri, a stay-at-home moth-

er, learned she was expecting a sixth, they

decided to pick out a boy and a girl name. If

the baby were a girl, they would name her

Maria Faustina. If the baby were a boy, he’d

be Peter.

At their 20-week ultrasound, they found

out their baby was a boy. What they didn’t

expect was that he had a severe and rare

congenital heart defect called Hypo-Plastic

Left Heart Syndrome.

Distraught, Kerri turned to prayer. “God,

how will I do this? How should I be praying?”

Very clearly she heard in her heart: “Do not

offer Me your anxious petitions. … Pray as

you always do, coming to Me every day. I

know what you need. You don’t even have

to ask. Just trust in Me. To Me, this is small.”

From that day forward, Kerri turned to

the prayer that had brought her comfort

for many years: “Jesus, I trust in You.” Her

devotion to Divine Mercy

began in high

T

o

the

heart

of

the

matter

By Melanie Williams

Peter battled Darth Vader on his Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World in May 2016. He said to his mom, “Mommy! I was

thinking about Jesus and Mary fighting the bad guys!”

Peter recovers after his

third open heart surgery,

which completed the

rerouting of blood

through his heart.