MIDDLEBOROUGH, Mass. —
Dominic Driscoll, 12, is a standout on the baseball diamond for many reasons.
“He’s got this rare combination of talent, effort and attitude,” said Drew McKenna, the president of the Middleboro Little League.
His parents, Kristen and Bill Driscoll, said that since birth, their son has been full of surprises.
Born with a congenital heart defect, he’s had three open-heart surgeries, but they said that even as an infant, he was stronger than expected.
“You could tell immediately, like, he was a fighter,” Bill Driscoll said.
An All-Star shortstop, his coaches said they have been surprised not only by his work ethic, but also by his kindness.
“A lot of kids, when they’re so much better … can get a little aloof, and he wasn’t like that at all,” McKenna said. “He was always wanting to jump in right with the kids and help out.”
When Driscoll learned about another boy with a heart condition similar to his, his parents said it wasn’t a surprise to them that he wanted to do something.
TJ Olsen is the son of former NFL tight end Greg Olsen. This summer, the 8-year-old needed a heart transplant.
“Dom said, ‘He’s not gonna be able to play this year, but I’m gonna play for him,’” Bill Driscoll said.
“I decided to put his name on my hat and every game ball, home run ball that I got, I would send to him after the season,” Driscoll said.
Recently, after learning of Driscoll’s effort to support his son, Greg Olsen participated in a surprise Zoom call to thank him.
“I wanted to just jump on here and say hello and tell you how much it meant to all of us that you kind of shared TJ and shared his story and kept him in your heart,” Olsen told Driscoll. “It brought him so much joy in the hospital.”
“I’m always proud of him,” Kristen Driscoll said. “It’s been such a journey. He’s a really humble kid and I just feel like he’s always like looking out for everybody else.”
His heart now considered repaired after a surgery in 2019, Driscoll said he plans to continue to raise awareness for Olsen’s HEARTest Yard Foundation, which supports pediatric heart patients.
Find more information about the foundation here.