“I wish to climb a volcano”
4 years old, Telford
Congenital heart defect
There was only ever One True Wish for four-year-old Hope…This girl loves volcanoes! A love of dinosaur films and YouTube videos evolved into an obsession with volcanoes. She loves to draw them and is always correcting her parents about volcano facts! When her teacher asked her what she wants to be, she exclaimed, ‘A volcano!’
When our Wish Visitors went to see Hope at home in Shropshire, she just kept repeating, ‘Volcano! Volcano!’ We think we’ve found the perfect experience for Hope – we’re packing her off to visit a real-life volcano in Lanzarote that’s accessible, and where you can have a BBQ using the heat of the volcano!
Dad, Matthew says:
“Before Hope was born, scans revealed a problem with her feet and her heart. She was diagnosed with DiGeorge syndrome at the 34 week scan but we didn’t know how serious her condition would be. At that time, we were scared and nervous, but now we feel lucky. We chose the name Hope after we were told her diagnosis. It’s absolutely perfect because she’s been through hard times and kept going.
"Hope’s first year of life was tough. She was born by emergency c-section, then six days later she had her first open heart surgery. She went through two open heart surgeries and had a catheter fitted and a foot operation in her first year. It’s absolutely horrible when she goes into surgery. We lived at the hospital for the first few months. To correct the problem with her feet, her legs were in casts for three months and she had boots and a bar on her feet.
“It was totally different to life with a healthy child, but we just took it one day at a time. If you met Hope now, you would never believe everything she has endured.
“She has an artificial valve in her heart which she will outgrow, requiring more surgery and regular scans and hospital visits. We have to constantly be on the lookout for signs her heart could be strained, as that could mean it’s time for her next surgery.
“Because of her illnesses, Hope has had to do a lot of catching up and needs lots of extra help. She gets frustrated that she can’t keep up with her friends at school, whether that’s communicating with them or even just running around in PE – she can be a bit wild and doesn’t like to be told to slow down!”
"Every day is a new improvement with Hope. She’s nearly at the point of being able to have a proper conversation now and it’s amazing seeing her develop stronger and stronger each day. She makes us so proud. We treat her like any normal child and she doesn’t know she is any different – she thinks all children have gone through what she has, so we hope that Make-A-Wish can give her a once-in-a-lifetime experience, something to look forward to, created just for her."
Sometimes the anticipation of a wish can be as valuable as the wish itself. In the lead up to Hope’s wish, it was all she spoke about for a couple of months as she was so excited!
Dad, Matthew, said, “The views from the volcano were breath-taking. Hope was super happy that she managed to get herself some volcanic rock from one of the experiments as a souvenir.
“We as parents felt so proud and emotional that Hope’s finally seen a real volcano.
“Other than seeing the volcano Hope had a fantastic time around the hotel from playing in the swimming pool to the beach and going to the mini disco in the evenings.
“The holiday that Make-A-Wish provided was everything you’d expect and more. I would like to take this chance to thank Make-A-Wish for giving my daughter the chance to fulfil her dream of seeing a real volcano; she will remember it forever and we are forever thankful.”
Sponsored donations made towards a child’s wish will go towards their One True Wish. If a child’s wish receives over funding the additional donations will be put towards a similar wish. If a child's wish doesn't reach 100% funding their wish will still take place and general funds will be used.