A New Heart for Brian Doughtry

A great article on one of our poster children, Brian.

Brian Dougherty was born with half a working heart.

When his mother, Susan Boncal, was 22 weeks pregnant, she learned he would be born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The left side of his heart would be underdeveloped. The right side of his heart was taxed with pumping blood throughout his entire newborn body.

The 15-year-old from Nanticoke has dealt with a host of problems, more than many teenagers.

Through it all, he’s been a great kid, said his teacher at Greater Nanticoke Area, Jean Marie Hockenbury. She has taught Brian as a homebound student for the past six years.

“He’s been an amazing kid,” she said. “He’s always ready to work.”

Brian had his first surgery when he was six days old. Before he turned two, he had been through three open-heart surgeries.

He developed a digestive problem called Protein Losing Enteropathy. The maladies piled up: malnutrition, stunted growth, cataracts and osteoporosis. Brian started taking medicine regularly to cope with a list of health issues, and for about seven years, his health was stable.

Read more here about Brian and his journey.