TEXT WISH TO 70111 TO DONATE £3 A MONTH
“I wish to go to Disneyland Paris”
6 years old, Bournemouth
A traumatic hospital experience left a then three-year-old Isaac selectively mute and unable to talk. His wish to go to Disneyland Paris, and meet his idol Woody, gave him the power to talk again. ‘It was like a reset button,’ said mum Gabby, ‘the wish gave us our Isaac back.’
Up until his third birthday Isaac had never been to the GP before. He was, as mum told us, ‘completely healthy’. But things took a turn for the worse on his third birthday. What started as a gastric issue soon prompted mum to call 111. ‘They said he’d be better in a couple of days’ said mum. When mum saw Isaac lying on the floor unresponsive, she rushed him to A&E.
‘I thought I was being over the top,’ said mum. Doctors initially thought he had a stomach bug. But tests soon revealed that Isaac had contracted E.coli following a meal he ate on his birthday. The E.coli clogged his kidneys and brain, which eventually lead to kidney failure as well as epilepsy. ‘Within 72 hours I went from thinking that it was just a bug to thinking how long he had left.’ said mum.
The sudden diagnosis came as a surprise for mum. ‘You don’t take your child out for food and think that it would be the reason that they would be fighting for their life.’
Isaac spent the next three months in hospital. ‘He had some horrible things done to him’ explained mum. His experience lead to psychological consequences. ‘He used to be so outgoing and bubbly,’ said mum ‘but when he came out of hospital, he was selectively mute’. He couldn’t speak to his dad, Luke, or sister, Isabella-May.
During his time in hospital, Isaac had little control over what was being done to him. So, he decided to control the one thing he could - eating and drinking. ‘He had to be tube fed,’ said mum ‘He was traumatised in a way that I could never understand’.
‘It’s so hard when you unconditionally love someone and they’re not the same anymore. It was like I had a stranger in my home’.
Thanks to his wish experience, Isaac is no longer a stranger. ‘The progress that Isaac has made since stemmed from his wish,’ said mum. Five years on from his wish, he now speaks to his dad and sister and has even been able to make friends at school.
Amid a ‘traumatic’ hospital experience, Toy Story films provided Isaac with an escape. ‘From the age of one, he was obsessed with Toy Story’, said mum. Whilst in hospital the films would play on a constant loop. ‘They gave him a way to forget about the nasty things that were being done to him’, said mum.
Soon, Woody became Isaac’s idol. ‘When he was asked about what he wanted his wish to be, he straight away said he wanted to see Woody,’ said mum. When Isaac’s wish granter, Jamie, sent him a Woody hat, he refused to take it off - ‘he slept in it, he was so excited about going to Disneyland’.
During his wish Isaac was able to immerse himself into a world far away from the worries of critical illness. The Woody fanatic was even able to spend one-on-one time with his idol. ‘Being able to spend 40 minutes alone with Woody was one of the most magical things.’ said mum.
For mum, the highlight of the trip was seeing Isaac break his silence. ‘When we met Spider-Man, Isaac whispered in his ear ‘I love you’. I was stood there crying. This was a child who up to that point hadn’t spoken to another person in years’. Isaac was, as mum put it ‘lost in the magic.’
The impact of Isaac's wish
Isaac’s wish allowed him to forget about what happened to him and ‘just be a child again’. The impact of his wish is long lasting and life-changing. Isaac felt empowered to once again use his voice and soon after his wish he was speaking to his sister and dad again. No longer was he a ‘stranger’ to his family.
Now, Isaac can’t stop talking about his wish. 'We talk about it all the time’ said mum, ‘it meant the world to him, it’s something that he’ll tell his children and even his grandchildren about!’.
"If we hadn't had a wish, I don’t know where we would be."
Isaac’s wish pulled the family out of a dark place. ‘It fixed us, it made everything better, and we will forever be grateful to Make-A-Wish for making it all possible.’
You may also like...
We rely on generous donations from people like you to grant wishes. Your donation will make wishes become a reality for critically ill children, supporting them where the need is greatest. Thank you.