When Haley was born, she showed no brain activity and was kept in the hospital for the first three months of her life. During that time, Haley was diagnosed with having a rare condition called Progressive Basilar Invagination of the Spine. This condition causes the spine to calcify, effectively “strangling” the brainstem. Because of her condition, Haley has endured 8 surgeries to the base of her skull and the top of her spine to relieve the extreme pressure that builds up in her skull by chipping away at the bones in the area.
Because the condition of her spine, Haley cannot move her head around too much and had to wear a halo device for a while to keep her head straight; she was just recently able to remove the device. In addition, Haley also has a condition called Spina Bifida, which is a birth defect in which the spinal column fails to close completely before birth, often resulting in paralysis. Because of this, Haley has no feeling in her legs, is confined to a wheelchair and must wear leg braces to straighten and stretch her legs.
During their four day stay in the Sunshine State, Haley and her family visited every park Haley wanted to, including Universal Studios and Islands of Adventures, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot Center and the Magic Kingdom.
Though everything was exciting for Haley, her biggest thrill came from meeting her favorite characters in person; some of her personal favorites included Mickey Mouse, the Disney princesses, the characters from Toy Story, Barney, Scooby Doo and Shaggy.