ARLINGTON, Texas: Mattingly Garcia, who just celebrated her 5th birthday this month, is a rarity in the medical world. The Arlington, TX, child suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD for short, and is one of the youngest diagnosed cases in the world. Mattingly and her family live with this daily struggle, but fortunately, they were able to put the worries away for a few days on their recent wish trip to Disney World, granted by children’s charity Kids Wish Network.
Diagnosed at age 2, Mattingly, or Matty for short, also suffers from severe viral-induced asthma. COPD is a chronic, life-threatening lung disease that compromises Matty’s lung function and causes her right lung to enter into a spastic state of tightening during an attack. Matty’s parents and teachers have to constantly be aware of her condition and how outside factors could affect her system.
Something as simple as a cold or a change in the weather can cause Matty to end up in the hospital; to date, the 5-year-old has been hospitalized 25 times averaging 2-5 days per visit. Thankfully though, Matty and her family were able to enjoy her wish trip without a visit to the nearby children’s hospital, which her parents were sure to locate beforehand.
Matty and the Garcia family enjoyed an all-expense paid wish trip to sunny Florida to visit Disney World thanks to Kids Wish Network. The family stayed at luxury accommodations, dined at generous local restaurants, and enjoyed all the magic of the parks.
“When we went through the Disney World arch, Matty was so excited,” recalls Heather Garcia, Matty’s mother. “The smile of her face was so big, and she threw her arms in the air; that’s something I’ll never ever forget.”
Matty loved visiting Cinderella’s castle, meeting Sophia the First, and going on Princess Ariel’s ride. For Heather, though, just enjoying time together as a family is a memory for life.
“It was so nice to be able to enjoy time as a family and not have to worry about Matty being sick or having trouble with her breathing,” adds Heather. “Getting to see Matty be a normal kid for a couple of days is something we thank you so, so much for.”
Kids Wish Network and the Garcia family would like to thank all the generous sponsors that helped grant Matty’s wish: WonderWorks, Texas Roadhouse, Compassion Partners Program, Elephant Bar and Royale Parc Suites.
Kids Wish Network is a Florida-based charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experience life-altering situations. Come experience the Kids Wish Network difference.