Wish Nation

Ann Louise Proves Wishes are More Than Nice

A Make-A-Wish trip encouraged Ann Louise to get better.
People like Make-A-Wish, even if they just know a little bit about it. They think it’s nice, a happy experience for a kid facing something they can’t imagine. Ask Ann Louise and her family, though, and they'll tell you it's much more than that. Read more ...

I wrote about Ann Louise in 2012. The events that led to her theme park wish blew me away. Her health improved as she looked forward to her wish experience. She reached a turning point even before she left for her wish.

Ann Louise was born with a congenital heart defect. She had her first surgery in the womb. And she took all her nourishment through a feeding port. Sure, she ate a few bites here and there. But the simple act of eating solid food? It was rare … and it was an obstacle to her growth. 

Her family had tried everything to get Ann Louise to eat on her own. They even tried a feeding therapist (Confession: I didn’t even know that was a profession until I heard about Ann Louise). Still, nothing worked. 

Then Ann Louise wished to visit a theme park in Florida. And her parents had an idea – turn the trip into a way to motivate Ann Louise to eat. They told her it would help her get big and strong for her trip.  

It worked, worked some more and kept on working.

Imagine how this felt for her parents, her brothers, her sisters. During all seven days of their trip to Florida, Ann Louise didn’t need her feeding pump. She did it all on her own and still does. 

Now, mealtime for Ann Louise and her family is … normal. They’re just like any family. This all started because Ann Louise wanted to be ready for her wish. If not for the chance to have her wish come true, who knows if she would be as healthy as she is today? 

To me, that's far beyond "nice."

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