school. When she was stressed, her mother would direct
her to go sit in the church. Kerri usually knelt before theImage of Divine Mercy,
which brought her solace. How
freeing those words were that are inscribed at the bottom
of the image: “Jesus, I Trust in You.”
Weeks before Peter’s birth, Kerri held on to those words.
Knowing Peter would need immediate surgery, doc-
tors delivered him on Sept. 29, one week before his due
date. Peter looked healthy. But he wasn’t. He was trans-
ferred to Boston Children’s Hospital and attached to
heart monitors and
IVs to keep him alive
until he could under-
go his first surgery.
Kerri and Mark had a
few days to hold him.
It had been love at
first sight. Those days
were filled with many
tears, as they knew
they might lose him.
At five days old,
Peter underwent the
first and most chal-
lenging of his open-
heart surgeries. The
was Oct. 5, the Feast
awoke and said a
prayer. “Good morn-
ing, Faustina!” she
prayed. “Happy feast day! While you are celebrating up
there today, could you please say a prayer for my boy
Peter? You know that I would have named him after you
had he been a girl, so I believe that still makes him spe-
cial to you.”
That day, Kerri and Mark visited Peter in the Cardiac
Intensive Care Unit. Swollen and sedated, he was con-
nected to monitors and a breathing machine. Chest
tubes were draining blood and fluid from around his
heart. Kerri and Mark placed a Divine Mercy Image over
his bed. One of the doctors was so surprised to see how
well Peter was doing, and that brought great hope to
Kerri and Mark.
But no sooner had the doctors left his bedside than the
machines connected to Peter started sounding alarms.
He flatlined. Peter was dying.
Kerri and Mark were escorted out of the room. In the
waiting room, crying, they prayed theChaplet of Divine Mercy.
Kerri pictured herself handing Peter over to the
Father. She did not ask for Peter’s life; rather, she asked
for God’s will, aware that the closing prayer of the chap-
let says let us “not despair nor become despondent, but
with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy Will,
which is Love and Mercy itself.” Kerri felt at total peace.
A doctor came out looking grim. He told Kerri and
Mark that they could not revive Peter, but they were
going to put him on a heart and lung machine with the
hope it would allow time for his heart to build up strength
to beat on its own again. There were no guarantees.
After the doctor
left, Kerri and Mark
continued the chaplet.
Soon another doc-
tor came in and said
that they did not need
to put Peter on the
machine after all. His
heart had begun to
beat on its own again!
Even though his brain
had been deprived
of oxygen during
the cardiac arrest,
brain scans showed
no brain damage.
Against all medical
odds, he would have
no physical and cog-
The Dunns believe
they witnessed a
miracle wrought through St. Faustina’s intercession.
Not that life has been without its challenges. Peter
underwent two more surgeries in his first two years of life
to complete the procedure of rerouting the blood in his
heart so it could function as if it was a whole heart. He has
a slow heartbeat due to the scar tissue from all his surger-
ies. He’ll soon have a pacemaker placed in his chest.
As he runs around with his dragon wings on, fight-
ing bad guys, Peter has a heart for Jesus and Mary. His
favorite color is blue — because it’s Mary’s color, he’ll
say. Kerri taught Peter to say, “Jesus, I Trust in You”
when he takes his heart medication every day. That way
Jesus gets His Heart consoled. One of his siblings even
recently referred to Peter as their medicine, because “he
always makes us feel better.”
“Peter’s life has taught me the great lesson of trust in
God,” Kerri says. “I have learned that all I can do is trust
his little heart to Jesus. I know with all that I am that I
can have complete reliance upon the Father’s care.”
Peter and his “best buddy,” his brother Isaiah, help Jesus carry His
Cross at theStations of the Cross h
ere on Eden Hill.