After Heartbreak of Losing a Son, Parents Raise Funds to Help Others

Money will help buy $15,000 fetal probe to help kids with heart problems

May 08, 2002

Last spring, despite dramatic efforts to save him, 1-month-old John Douglas Romansky died of heart problems that were detected during a routine ultrasound months before his birth. Although devastated by the loss, his parents - John and Sue Romansky, of Greece - focused on the positive aspects of their experience.

"We watched Johnny put up a courageous struggle and bravely endure open-heart surgery," John says. "Although our son died less than a month after he was born, he introduced us to many amazing people at Golisano Children's Hospital. To show our gratitude to them for their efforts, to celebrate Johnny's life, and to help other children and families facing similar circumstances, we organized this special event."

After months of planning and hard work, the Romanskys are gearing up for the inaugural John Douglas Romansky Memorial Golf Tournament, to be held Friday, May 24, at Lakeshore Country Club in Greece. They expect 120 golfers to take part in the tournament and more than 250 people to attend a dinner-dance that night. Tickets for both events are selling at a brisk pace.

John and Sue are amazed at how the community has embraced their tournament. With the help of his parents, John A. and Patricia Romansky, the couple secured more than $10,000 worth of raffle and door prizes for the tournament and dinner-dance. "It's like we hit the right people at exactly the right time," Sue says. "People have been so overwhelming with their generosity for our cause."

Proceeds from the day's events will be used to help Golisano Children's Hospital buy a fetal probe, a small camera used to take ultrasound pictures of a baby's heart before the baby is born. The device, similar to the one used to help diagnose Johnny's heart condition before birth, costs about $15,000. "My husband and I had no idea what our local children's hospital was all about until our son needed help," Sue says. "If we can give people the slightest hint of what a tremendous asset this is to the community, we'll do it. To have a top-notch hospital here, so families don't have to drive hundreds of miles for the best care, it's incredible."

"For the rest of our lives, we want to help other children," Sue says. "Johnny was a blessing to us in the short time we had him, and we want him to touch other people's lives, too."

The Romanskys are still accepting donations, and selling tickets to golfers and those interested in attending the dinner-dance. For more information about the John Douglas Romansky Memorial Golf Tournament, call 585-621-7681.

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