Keira's One True Wish to see the London NYE Fireworks came true, this page and her supporters will be updated soon on her wish.
After battling hard through more than 60 medical procedures since birth to mend her poorly heart, miraculously, seven-year-old Keira is - in mum Terri’s words - “a diva - full of attitude and smiles!” She loves to play with her pet ferrets; Cosmo, Norse and Sox; her dollies and her brother Lewis, who’s nine.
Keira lives with her mum and older brother in South Shields. At the time when Terri was told that her four-week-old baby had an extremely rare heart defect, she didn’t understand it. “All I heard was that she was probably going to die.” says Terri.
She’s already been through two major heart surgeries, she needs oxygen at hand 24/7 and is tube fed medication daily. Terri says, “Keira is so strong, I don’t know how she does it. After years of regular hospital visits, she’s grown close with so many doctors and nurses now, but she is too young to fully understand the risks of her illness.”
In the winter, Keira’s strength often drops, so the family tend to stay in the house over the New Year.
Last year, they watched the fireworks in London on TV and Keira was mesmerised. Earlier this year, when Terri turned to Make-A-Wish and told Keira she could wish for anything she wanted, she wished to see the world-famous New Years Eve firework display in London.
“This wish will mean the world for us.” Terri says, “the chances are this will be our last new year together as Keira’s illness is terminal and she’s deteriorating quickly. It will be priceless for us to have these memories to hold onto – for Keira to be away from hospital, away from any suffering for this time. She told me she wishes she could be a firework, maybe when the time comes we’ll make that happen. For now, I can’t wait to see my little girl’s face as the sky lights up on New Years Eve.”
Keira has never been to London before, so this will be a really special trip. She will need equipment for her oxygen, an accessible space to view the fireworks and Wishgranter Dawn will arrange for the family, and Keira’s best friend Amy who will join them on the wish, to stay overnight to give them time to explore the city and create lots of happy memories to bring in the New Year.
Looking at Keira you would have no idea of what she has been through, but as she grows and the strain increases on her already fragile heart, she relies more and more on oxygen.
Ultimately, Keira needs a lung and heart transplant, but doctors are concerned the risk could be too great.
Her illness has affected the whole family. Counselling has helped Keira’s brother to understand their situation, and that’s brought them closer.
“He’s her hero.” Terri explains, “but when your child is terminally ill, even laughter comes with pain. The tough times are awful, but even the good times are a harsh reminder that, at some time, it will all be over, so you just store everything in the memory bank and give them all the love you’ve got to give.”
Terri continues, “I’m so proud of Keira. She is defying the odds each and every day. She shouldn’t be here, medically speaking. She’s giving it everything she’s got and not letting anything stop her. The most difficult thing is living each day knowing it could be her last. Knowing the more she deteriorates, the closer she gets to the end. Nothing can prepare you for that. I think, to have a wish granted gives children another reason to fight and to keep going, to have those magical memories. It might be the last really good experience they get, as well as for the family. It makes so much difference to everyone involved.”