“I wish to have a blue Alienware laptop and new games”
14 years old, Glamorgan
Only the start
After many tests and “being put through the ringer,” as dad, Richard, described it, Evan was rushed into hospital and had a major operation to remove part of his intestines and part of his colon.
Richard recalled: “He took ages to come around from that; he was in hospital for a month.”
Throughout his life, Evan will need continual treatment and has already had a second operation to reconstruct his digestive system.
Before he was ill, Evan loved swimming, but, due to his condition and the limits put on him by recovery from his operation, he lost that passion.
Evan, now 14, recalls: “One of the trainers made me go down a set because I had to wear a swimsuit after my operation. I quit out of frustration.”
Dad, Richard, added: “We felt penalised.”
But Evan has turned his ambitions elsewhere: “I want to be a police officer. I have always wanted to do it since I was about three or four.”
As the police aren’t involved in work experience programmes, Evan joined the Police Youth Volunteers, where he has already been to visit museums in London and helped the community by cleaning a lake.
Knock on effect
The family have had to change a lot to meet Evan’s needs, such as what they eat and drink and how they cook. They can no longer simply go to a café and order food and when they go shopping, they must check everything to ensure its suitable for Evan’s diet.
"The hardest thing for me was travelling home from work to an empty house. When Evan is in hospital, it’s a scary time; especially when the operation keeps going - you don’t know what’s going on. Seeing him after his operation was heart-wrenching. He was struggling to come through."
Sadly, Evan also missed a lot of school through his illness and even became suicidal at his lowest points, but he is working hard over time to stay positive and learn to live with his condition.
One thing that supports Evan to connect with friends is gaming and its online community. He started gaming in hospital, playing Minecraft in the patient’s lounge.
Richard commented: “It is a lifeline for him. He had six months off school with his depression, but he can still keep up with friends, gaming with them online - he talks more than he plays.”
After some thought, Evan decided his ultimate wish was to have a gaming PC, which he said he could never get for himself due to the high cost. Through the hard work of his Wishgranter, Dan, this wish will enable Evan to stay connected to friends during time off school due to illness and treatments and provide a vital “lifeline” during his hardest times.
Dad, Richard, joked: “Some of the laughter we hear upstairs when he’s on his Xbox, well… ‘Oh Nelly!’ Let’s just say it is a trying time.”
Impact of Evan's wish
Evan shared what his wish has meant to him: "A gaming laptop is something I always wanted and knew parents couldn't afford to buy for me. Now, I'm able to play games at a higher quality and a faster speed than I could."
He also explained the value of gaming: "Gaming helps me escape the real world. It helps me to get my mind off my pain when I have a Crohn's flare up. I have also learnt to read faster through gaming."
"A wish gives children something to look forward to."
If this story has raised any issues for you, please find support here: https://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/what-we-do/children-young-people/mental-health/
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