At first, seven-year-old Austin wished to have a shark. Once he realized how difficult it would be to keep a live shark at his home in South Georgia, Austin wished to have the next best thing that touches the ocean – a pirate ship.
After recently undergoing a kidney transplant, Austin knew that a pirate ship playhouse would be just the thing to bring him some joy while recovering from his illness.
“Austin loves pirates and sharks. He actually would have wished for a shark if that had been a possibility,” said Austin’s mother, April.
“He has always loved the beach and the ocean, so pirates and sharks go hand in hand with that. With his playhouse, he is more outgoing and plays outside more than ever before. He is one happy little boy.”
Austin had a very clear picture in his head of what this playhouse should look like – brown in color, at least two tires swings, a rope ladder, pirate flag and a nearby shark fin for authenticity.
This wish was brought to life with help from Dixie Builders, a local construction firm. They worked tirelessly to provide Austin with the playhouse of his dreams, at no additional cost to Make-A-Wish Georgia.
“I have been so blessed in my life that I look forward for opportunities to give back,” said Danny Johnson, president at Dixie Builders. “I have not met the young man that was the recipient of the wish, but I saw a photo of him on Facebook. His joy is reward enough for the work we did. We are so appreciative to be a part of this wish.”
This is just another prime example of a community rallying to bring hope and joy to an ill child. These life-changing experiences are what Make-A-Wish Georgia is all about. Austin is one of nearly 7,000 children who have been granted a wish from Make-A-Wish Georgia. The organization has been granting wishes to local children for twenty years since being founded in 1995.
More specifically, Make-A-Wish® Georgia granted 16 wishes in the Savannah area during the past year. However, there are still 31 children around Savannah waiting for their wishes to come true. With the help from community partners like Dixie Builders, Make-A-Wish® Georgia hopes to continue to close the gap on that number so that all of the eligible children in the area have their heartfelt wish granted.