I wish to have a Portuguese water dog
liver transplant recipient
Dynamic Duo: Diane's New Companion
Reflections from wish mom Christy
Our daughter, Diane — “Di” — is a compassionate and imaginative child who enjoys swimming, ice skating, theater, and crafts. Di is never happier than when she sees a dog.
As an infant, Di was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a liver disorder. She faced major surgeries and complications, and was placed on a liver transplant list. Her health stabilized, but she suffered a major setback in 2017 that marked the beginning of our true journey. For four months, Di was inpatient at Boston Children’s Hospital while she awaited a liver.
Di faced an unbearable struggle every day just to breathe and move, yet she kept a positive attitude. One constant that got her through was the amazing therapy dogs who would visit after her procedures.
Di had wanted a dog forever, so that was the perfect wish for her. With the help of her Make-A-Wish volunteer team, she was completely surprised the day it was granted. They set up the reveal and added little details like making her a dog-walking hat. Di and her dad, Dave, returned home from breakfast to discover Rosie, a Portuguese water dog, there to greet her at the door!
Rosie has settled into our little pack seamlessly. We love to take family walks with her and play fetch together. To see Di completely relax and decompress with Rosie and hear the peals of laughter as they play is like a wish granted for Dave and me, too.
Di says, “She stays right by my side and gives me other things to focus on besides the hard things. Rosie makes me feel happy and safe and loved.” Di looks forward to puppy snuggles when she has a taxing day. Taking care of Rosie gives her a purpose and responsibility that is also fun. For a child who has had so much out of her control, our daughter’s wish gave her back the power of choice.
Now that her wish has been granted, Di has big plans with Rosie: They are hard at work training to achieve therapy dog certification! Di can’t wait to bring Rosie to visit other brave children in the hospital and share with them the comfort, confidence, and joy of her wish.