Born premature, Wish Kid Paula spent the first week of her life in the hospital. At 3 days old, her parents were told she suffered from a slight heart murmur, but it would probably resolve itself by the time Paula turned 2. Her parents left the hospital to take the tiny child home for the first time, but would need to return shortly for a routine appointment with a cardiac specialist. The nurse assured the family this was standard procedure for any newborns with heart concerns.
When Paula and her family returned for the appointment, they were given an alarming diagnosis. The specialist informed the family that Paula suffered from two dangerous and life-threatening heart conditions, tetralogy of fallot and pulmonary valve stenosis. Both rare disorders are caused by a combination of heart defects that are present at birth. Affecting the structure of the heart, together the defects cause blood with poor oxygen levels to flow slower throughout the body.
Paula had her first open-heart surgery when she was a tiny 3-month-old. The procedure was a success, but Paula continues to have annual check-ups and will eventually need another operation.
“Handing Paula over for the surgery was the worst day of my life,” recalls mom Cynthia. “But Paula knows they fixed her “broken heart”.”
Paula is a confident young lady and loudly told Kids Wish Network what her wish was: “Disney World! I want to see the princesses!” And see some princesses she did!
Paula had a blast on her wish trip to visit the theme parks in Florida, especially Disney World to meet all the Disney Princesses. She especially loved meeting Anna and Elsa from “Frozen.”
“I got to see princesses!” Paula joyfully recalls.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank all the amazing wish sponsors that helped make Paula’s dream come true!
- Compassion Partners Program
- Garden Grove Restaurant
- The Melting Pot Orlando
- Tony Roma’s
- Calypso Cay Resort