Hope, who's living with a heart defect and Down’s syndrome, wishes to visit Santa and see the Christmas lights in London.
A tough start
Thirteen-year-old Hope lives in Havant with her mum, dad and little sister. Hope’s life has been tough since before she was even born.
At her mum’s 20 week scan, doctors found out she had duodenal atresia - she had a blockage in her stomach that needed an operation as soon as she was born.
At the 27 week scan, they found out she had Down’s syndrome. Her parents chose the name ‘Hope’ as they waited anxiously to meet their baby.
It was only the beginning
Hope arrived safely, but at six weeks old, she caught bronchiolitis and was admitted to intensive care. In hospital, she contracted MRSA and septicaemia and almost died.
Major heart surgery followed when Hope was just four months old, because of a problem with her heart’s valves. The sedation drugs were so strong that, when she got better, she went through withdrawals.
Mum Diane says they didn’t think Hope would ever be allowed home with them but, eventually, she was.
Our little miracle
An immunologist met Hope when she was eight, and said it was a miracle she had got that far, so her parents now call her their little miracle. Despite every obstacle, Hope never gives up.
Two years ago, she took her first steps using a walker. “We cried our eyes out,” Remembers mum Diane. “She loves to walk round school now, getting herself into mischief. Even though she’s non-verbal, she’s very cheeky and everyone loves her.
A special time of year
“One of the teachers at the school I work in is a Make-A-Wish ambassador and suggested we apply for a wish. Hope loves Christmas and she loves the Christmas lights, and Santa. So, when Make-A-Wish volunteers visited Hope and her parents at home to discover her One True Wish, a Christmas theme arose!
"Born on 10th December, Hope’s first Christmas was spent in hospital. So, the following Christmas when we finally had her at home, we invited everyone round. Christmas is always a special time for us."
Wishgranter Becky is scheduling a festive trip for Hope and her parents to the capital city, where Hope will be able to soak up the magical atmosphere, and enjoy the beautiful Christmas lights glowing in the streets.
A trip on the London Eye will give her a birds eye view of the entire spectacle, and a very special meeting with Santa is also on the cards.
Holidays and days out are like a military manoeuvre for Hope’s family, so they don’t manage to plan them often. Wishgranter Becky will plan everything so they can concentrate on making memories and spending quality time together as a family.
Celebration of Hope
“It will be a celebration of Hope,” Diane says, “She has been the glue that’s stuck our family together. I would love to hear her say ‘I love you mummy’, but we are happy, and we find happiness in each moment.
"Our experiences have made us stronger and we just get on with whatever is thrown our way. I’m so proud that Hope is here with us each day. Her happiness rubs off on everyone and I’m so proud of her for that.”
Help Hope to replace the pain and heartbreak caused by her illness with laughter and joy.
A wish coming true at Christmas can bring a little magic and wonder into lives that have been dominated hospitals, doctors and treatment.
This Christmas, make wishes come true. Sponsor Hope’s wish to visit Santa and see the Christmas lights in London.