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“I wish to have a laptop to help with schooling”
8 years old, Horsham
Atrial septal defect
Ollie is a creative young boy who enjoys writing stories, and his own family’s biography is one full of overcoming obstacles and risks. Ollie's wish for his own laptop allows him to delve deeper into his creativity, become more engaged in his schoolwork and immerse himself in far-off lands - despite the restrictions of lockdown.
Eight-year-old Ollie from Surrey enjoys using his creativity to create masterpieces out of Lego™ and his dad, Edward, is convinced Ollie will be an engineer because of his fascination with how things are put together, including the human body as it’s “so complicated” - a fact Ollie’s family know all too well.
They are no strangers to hospitals and hardship. Ollie’s dad has come through cancer and a liver transplant, his younger brother, Archie, has already had eight heart surgeries at four years old, and Ollie was born with a hole in his heart and a conjoined kidney.
His kidney condition meant that he had multiple stays in hospital in the first year of his life due to urinary infections. In time, Ollie’s family hoped that the hole in his heart may repair itself, but by January 2018 it hadn’t, so in November 2019 he underwent heart surgery. As a result, Ollie was left struggling to exercise and lost his stamina.
Yet, after slowly recovering and building back to his full strength, Ollie now leads a healthy life largely unaffected by his condition and enjoys playing with his younger brother.
Dad, Edward said: “When Archie had his final and last surgery, Ollie was very empathetic towards him. He really helped us. He was a great tonic for us as a family.”
Ollie has always been creative and got down to the last 5,000 entries in 2020’s BBC short story competition out of a longlist of 130,000. Edward noticed that Ollie really enjoyed using the computer to write - the inspiration for his wish.
Edward told us: “It will be the making of him, as we think he may be dyslexic. He wants to write more stories and test out what he can do.”
“Firstly, finding out that he was eligible for a wish was an amazing moment in itself. Ollie was over the moon,” recalled Edward.
Originally, Ollie had wished to go to the Lego™ house in Denmark, however due to the pandemic and lockdown restrictions, travel was no longer a possibility, so Ollie had to rethink.
In the past, Ollie had difficulty at school due to his barriers to learning, so when the idea of having his own laptop came up he was intrigued about all the possibilities it would bring. So doing what she does best, his Wishgranter Hollie set about making his wish a reality. After working around Covid-19 restrictions, she arranged for Ollie to have a special delivery right to his front door: his very own MacBook Pro.
"He was like a kid at Christmas wanting to know how many sleeps to go before he would get it. The whole thing was wonderful for him!"
The impact of Ollie's wish
Edward told us: “Ollie has become more focused on his school work and has used the laptop to write creative stories and to research school topics like volcanoes and the natural world. Clearly the gift couldn’t have been better time as when his school switched to remote learning he was able to carry on with his studying at home and work on his new laptop.
“We have seen a big difference in his attitude to learning and can only attribute that to the wish. It is a joy to see him so engaged in his work.
“Especially in lockdown, the laptop allows him to travel to far-off lands, learn about new cultures and practise his homework - it really is the most wonderful gift.”
Lastly, Edward reflected on the importance of a wish for children and families living with critical illnesses...
"Every child deserves a chance to be happy and to enjoy childhood to the full, especially in this current climate, as childhood goes so fast anyway. Children with complex medical needs and their families need all the support they can get and Make-A-Wish provide an incredible cure, that although isn’t medicinal, sometimes feels like it is."
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