HAMPTON – Tristan, of Hampton, Virginia, is an adorable 5-year-old who loves watching “The Crocodile Hunter” on television, going to the beach and his family’s three dogs, Tails, Sassy, and Eddy. Tristan is partial to Sassy, saying that she is his girlfriend. While Tristan looks as healthy as any other child his age, looks can be deceiving. Tristan has complex congenital heart disease and severe pulmonary stenosis, causing him to easily become short of breath. Tristan requires oxygen, and because he tires so easily, sometimes requires the use of a stroller. He recently underwent minor surgery to put in a cardiac catheter and a stint, and will soon be undergoing major open-heart surgery.
Tristan was in need of a special dose of happiness, so when Wish Coordinator Terri McConn of Kids Wish Network was contacted about this special little boy, she quickly went to work on making his Disney wish a dream come true. Terri would soon be sending Tristan and his family on a vacation to Florida to experience the fun of its many amusement parks, and to share special moments at Give Kids the World in Kissimmee, a magical resort full of laughter, joy and hugs, catering to the unique needs of families who have children with life threatening illnesses.
Once at Give Kids the World, Tristan and his family ate at the resort’s whimsical restaurants and took part in all of the fun-filled activities offered to all of its special guests. “Give Kids the World was absolutely the best,“ said Tristan’s Mom, Crystal. “It was so peaceful.” Tristan most enjoyed eating at the village’s ice cream parlor shaped like a giant banana split and playing with the interactive trains at Amberville Station.
During their vacation, the family enjoyed a full Orlando experience, visiting Walt Disney World theme parks, Universal Studios and Sea World. It was an exciting time of many firsts for Tristan, who excitedly told Terri, “I met Barney and Mickey Mouse!” All attractions were compliments of Kids Wish Network and Give Kids the World. American Airlines provided roundtrip airfare for Tristan and his family.
While Tristan will still face the uncertain challenges of battling his illness, his family will always cherish the wish they shared together, when everything was absolutely perfect – in “Tristan’s World”.
Kids Wish Network is a nationally recognized non-profit organization whose mission is to grant wishes to children who have life-threatening illnesses. If you know a child between the ages of 3 and 18 who may be in need of their wish granting services, please call (813)891-9374 or toll free at (888)918-9004. You can also visit its web site at www.kidswishnetwork.org.