Gonsalves’ 20-year-old daughter, Christine, was born with a congenital heart defect, which has required multiple surgeries, including the installation of a pacemaker.
Eventually, doctors recommended heart transplant surgery.
Christine lives in California and the surgery would be performed at a hospital in Los Angeles. Gonsalves flew out to be with this daughter as she went through the procedure.
“We wanted to make sure that the family received the support they needed, so we called our brothers and sisters with Los Angeles City Local 112,” says Local 135 President Matt Shulte.
“Local 112 members reached out to me right away to offer assistance,” says Gonsalves. “Since I was spending so much time at the hospital, the big thing they did for me was to take me out to lunch and to show me around their fire facilities. It was a nice stress reliever to get away from the hospital for a little while.”
“Local 112’s attention to our member was a great show of brotherhood and that is why we decided to honor them with the plaque,” says Schulte.
Christine has since left the hospital and doctors report that her new heart is operating as it should.