“Nick the Stitch”

20 Jan

The Incredible Nine-Year-Old Boy Facing a Deadly Medical Condition and the Celebrity Who Gave Him Hope…

When he was just days old, Nick Santillo had his first open heart surgery. Nick’s parents stood by helplessly as little Nick went through heart surgeries two more times before his first birthday. By eight years old, Nick had been through eight surgeries.

Nick is now nine and has been in and out of the hospital his entire life.

Nick suffers from hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a complex and rare birth defect. In hypoplastic left heart syndrome, the left side of the heart is critically underdeveloped.

If a baby is born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, the left side of the heart can’t effectively pump blood to the body, so the right side of the heart must pump blood to the lungs and the rest of the body.

Nick’s father is quick to say that by far, Nick is the strongest member of the family. He is always positive and just wants to know when he is going home. His parents are the ones who do the crying.

Until one amazing day…

Like most little boys, Nick has a celebrity idol — someone larger than life who he looks up to and would do anything to meet. When Nick was eight years old, he was given the surprise of his life.

Live on the Today Show, Nick got to meet his celebrity idol: WWE Wrestling Superstar John Cena. John flew into town just to meet Nick and invite him to be his guest of honor at and upcoming event. John even gave Nick a WWE nickname: Nick the Stitch.

But the story gets even better…

After that night, John didn’t forget about Nick the Stitch. John stayed in contact with Nick, demonstrating that his amazing act of caring is actually part of his real character, not just his wrestling persona.

In an incredible plot twist a year later, Nick went to see a WWE show with John Cena and John did not know Nick was coming. It was Nick’s turn to do the surprising!

John was in the ring and he looked into the crowd. He saw a “Nick the Stitch” sign and instantly knew who it was. John immediately ran into the crowd to see his friend.

John sprinted up the steps and gave Nick a big hug and asked him how he was doing. Of course, Nick said he was doing well.

But shortly after that night, Nick suffered a lung infection and a blockage to his gallbladder. Nick’s parents said he was in excruciating pain. He spent four agonizing days in the hospital, but never let go of his John Cena rally towel imprinted with the message, “Never Give Up.”

Nick never gave up and recovered once again. Since that time, Nick has gone to Disney World and gotten his orange belt in Karate.

It is clear that John Cena’s visit and friendship gave Nick more inner strength than words can describe. That inner strength may have already been the difference between life and death for Nick, something that will stick with Nick for the rest of his life.

It’s amazing how such a small gesture from the right person at the right time can dramatically change a person’s life. But, you never know if you are that person and if now is the time.

That’s why you should take every opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. If you are that right person at the right time just once, it will be more than worth it.

We love helping our patients and their friends and relatives through their tough times and getting them feeling better! We are here to help you stay feeling better and looking younger! Don’t be a stranger. You really can afford Chiropractic care! Don’t wait until you can no longer move!

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