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M

arian

H

elper

 • W

inter

2016-17

 • marian.org

25

school. When she was stressed, her mother would direct

her to go sit in the church. Kerri usually knelt before the

Image 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

following morning

was Oct. 5, the Feast

of

St. Faustina.

Kerri

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 the

Chaplet 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-

nitive delays.

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 the

Stations of the Cross h

ere on Eden Hill.

MH