A year ago, I filled in an application to the Make a Wish charity, not really believing that Sam would be eligible.
It was a particularly rough patch, Sam was battling hard against the seizures once again, he was having regular chest infections due to aspiration and I just desperately wanted to do something for him to make his life a bit happier and less of a struggle. Something that didn’t involve therapy, and that was just for HIM.
So on the advice of one of our nurses, I applied. And they got back to me to say yes, he was indeed.
Mixed emotions - thrilled that they could do something really special for my little man but devastated that he really IS poorly enough to be considered by such a foundation.
In case you don’t know who Make a Wish are, they are one of the large wish granting charities, who aim to put a smile on the faces of seriously/terminally ill children by granting them a wish. Many ask to meet their idols, others ask to be a princess for the day, and so on. Usually, the child fills in a pack with their likes, dislikes and what they’d like to wish for. As Sam isn’t capable of doing so, we filled the wish pack in for him and then had a chat with a representative of the charity to see if we could identify something that he’d enjoy and that would be special for him.
One of Sam’s greatest loves is swimming - in the water and with his neck float he is free to move as he wants, without us holding him. It’s his only real taste of independence and we encourage it as much as possible. The problem being that currently his seizures have been too bad for us to take him to our local pool.
The lady asked if we’d thought of asking for a hot tub for him, given his love of being in the water and the knowledge that his seizures make him ache all over. We had, but didn’t think it was the sort of thing they could help with; apparently, they could… and they did!
Within weeks we were contacted to say that one hot tub would be on its way to us as soon as an installation date was arranged! That date was the last week of May. Make a Wish organised *everything* from the supplying of the tub, to installation. Sam had his own ‘wish granter’, who was in charge of sorting everything out for him.
He let us know that the hot tub Sam would receive was a Marquis Wish tub, made especially for Make a Wish; the company donate a portion of their sales of this tub to the charity and provide this particular model to Wish Children.
On Wednesday morning two amazing men from a local spa and pool company arrived with the tub on a trailer…. braving our (very) narrow driveway….
In just 4 hours, they had leveled the patio where the tub was to go, installed the tub and put in its own power supply. We had to wait a little longer before testing it out though as the water had to be treated first… and today everything was reading as it should, and we got our first go in the water.
We were slightly nervous about how Sam would be, as it was ridiculously windy this afternoon and a tad chilly, however we need not have worried - as soon as his toes hit the water the look on Sams face went from puzzlement (‘why are my parents bringing my outside in nothing more than a swim nappy?!’) to amazement, then contentment, then sleepy!
My lovely little man relaxed properly for the first time in weeks, as the warmth of the water (currently set to a fabulous 38C) allowed his muscles to soften and his neck float meant he was safe to be allowed to just float.
One very happy little chap.
Within moments he was snoozing contentedly, floating in the gentle flow of the jets.
Our experience with Make a Wish has been incredibly positive from start to finish.
While I still feel deep sadness that my little boy really does have a serious enough condition to warrant their support, it’s acts of incredibly kindness like this that make life brighter.
Having access to his own hot tub means we can allow him to benefit from the warmth of the water as often as he wants, or needs to.
They really have made my little boy’s wish come true.
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