When children come in contact with critical illnesses, it can hinder their mind, thoughts and actions on a day-to-day basis. As doctors were working with Hayleigh to understand what was occurring, there were battles with many unanswered questions lying ahead.
Her mother, Stormie, flashes back to her daughters premature days. Hayleigh was in and out of the hospital for weeks on end starting when she was just two weeks old. The early teenage years were tough on Hayleigh as well as her family. There were times that they thought she would lose her battle with cystic fibrosis. Her mother could not forget the turbulent times, but only hope for brighter days to come. That was before Hayleigh’s wish was granted.
Hayleigh’s escape was living through her families’ willingness to support and be there for her every single day of her battle. Her positive outlook on life, attitude and smile were just a few things Hayleigh relied on to get through the hospital visits and treatments.
Hayleigh wanted to use her wish to explore a destination none of them had traveled to before. Hawaii was the first to come to mind!
FROM SADNESS TO LIVELINESS
Hawaii was more than Hayleigh and her family even imagined. They went horseback riding, swam with dolphins, visited the Dole plantation, explored beaches and went to a Luau.
“Never once did I hear, ‘I’m bored!’ or ‘We have nothing to do’,” said Hayleigh’s mom. “Her wish was absolutely awesome!”
Before her wish, Hayleigh sometimes felt defeated by her illness. Today, she relies on memories from Hawaii, as well as her close knit family to encourage her to keep fighting. Although Hayleigh is still battling her illness, she is able to move forward through the difficult times a lot easier. That’s because when a wish is granted, a child battling a critical illness replaces fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.