WHITE LAKE, Mich.- Dylan got to “see where Mickey Mouse sleeps” at Disney World in Orlando, Fla., thanks to a little guardian angel magic from Kids Wish Network. It was a wish-come-true for a young boy with complex congenital heart defects.
Four-year-old Dylan is a bright, happy little boy who loves “typical guy stuff” like cars, trucks, construction, tools and sports. He is a big Detroit Tigers fan, and loves to watch Handy Manny and Bob the Builder on TV. One thing that’s not very common to most children Dylan’s age is his great appreciation of singer-songwriter and musician, Johnny Cash. Another thing unique to Dylan is the medical condition that affects this little spitfire’s every breath.
Just after his birth, doctors told Dylan’s parents that their son has seven congenital heart defects. To describe just a couple of his heart’s abnormalities, Dylan’s heart has only two chambers instead of four, and the two chambers are separated by just one valve instead of two. As a result, Dylan’s blood returns from his body to his heart with very low oxygen levels.
Dylan has endured three separate open-heart surgeries: one when he was almost four weeks old, one at five-and-a-half months, and the last one just before his third birthday. His most recent doctor visit revealed an oxygen level that is better than it has been, but it’s still slightly lower than that of a typical person with pneumonia! In addition to his heart defects, Dylan also has situs inversus, where all the organs in his chest and abdomen are in complete reversal of where they should be located.
A neighbor of Dylan’s family nominated him for a wish with Kids Wish Network, a national non-profit organization that grants wished to children facing life-threatening illnesses. Dylan’s mom, Deanna, received a call from the organization and was overjoyed to learn that her sweet son who has faced so many hardships in his young life was eligible for whatever his heart desired.
Kids Wish Network wish coordinator, Jennifer, contacted Dylan to ask him about his wish. “Me go Mickey Mouse House!” Dylan exclaimed.
Wish funding specialist Donna set out to secure sponsors so that Jennifer could make his trip to Disney World extra special. Soon, Dylan’s parents received tickets and a detailed itinerary from Jennifer, and they were able to escape wintry Michigan for a few days to visit Mickey Mouse at his home in sunny Florida.
Dylan and his family enjoyed a relaxing four-night stay at the Regal Sun Resort, and were able to visit Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Sea World. Thankfully, Dylan’s question as to where Mickey Mouse sleeps was answered, as he was able to see Mickey Mouse’s bedroom, the walls of which were decorated with Mickey Mouse’s baby picture and a photo taken long ago with Santa Claus. Dylan was very happy to know that Mickey sleeps in a regular bed.
Dylan’s mom, Deanna, let Dylan lead the family through the parks, which meant multiple trips to the Mad Tea Party ride and Toontown. Deanna helped him to enjoy a memorable drive at Tomorrowland’s Indy Speedway.
When asked what Dylan liked best about the trip, he exclaimed, “The sea lion pirate show!!!” The Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island live action attraction at Sea World is a funny comedy skit acted out by trained sea life such as a sea lions, a walrus, an egret and an otter. Deanna says that the show has been the topic of many conversations since Dylan returned home from his Disney adventure.
Deanna describes her experience in working with Kids Wish Network as one that left her speechless and overwhelmed. She was amazed at the surprise box of gifts that she received from Jennifer, which was above and beyond the trip that had been provided. Deanna said that it’s a great thing that Kids Wish Network has done for her son, and other children like him.
Kids Wish Network is happy to have been able to grant this wish for such a deserving little guy.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Dylan’s wish extra special: Regal Sun Resort, Compassion Partners, Pirates Dinner Adventure, WonderWorks, California Pizza Kitchen and OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC.