Braelyn’s Recovery Celebration with Disney Princesses

Braelyn was glowing the entire week!

Braelyn had always been known as a little clumsy, but when she was 4 years old, she started limping like she had hurt her foot but wasn’t complaining of any pain. Her parents planned to take her to doctor after the weekend, and by Monday morning, the little girl was extremely lethargic and slurring her words. Doctors were rightfully concerned and Braelyn was sent to a larger children’s hospital where she received a cat scan.

“The doctor showed us her scan; it’s an image I will never forget,” recalls Braelyn’s mom Heather.

The scan showed a very large mass on Braelyn’s brainstem. She was then transferred to another hospital where, three days later, doctors finally diagnosed the mass as a large cavernous angioma on the brainstem, a blood-filled tumor on the brain. The mass was slowly bleeding out which caused Braelyn’s symptoms. Because of the mass’s size and location, doctors did not recommend surgery, and Braelyn went home.

About one year later, Braelyn started suffering from the same symptoms; the mass had started to bleed again. Tests revealed the mass had grown significantly, and with two minor bleeds in a year, doctors recommended surgery as the next bleed could endanger Braeyln’s life. Her parents made the difficult decision to have doctors at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital operate on the little 5-year-old.

Braelyn photoBraelyn’s surgery was successful, and doctors were able to remove the angioma. She still utilizes physical and speech therapy for another year to help her regain movement lost during her medical struggle.

To celebrate her 1 year surgery anniversary, Braelyn and her family were sent on an all-inclusive, once-in-a-lifetime experience to visit Disney World where they stayed at luxury accommodations, dined at local eateries, and visited the “happiest place on Earth.”

“Braelyn was glowing the entire week and had an amazing time,” recalls mom Heather. “She loved meeting all the princesses and was so giggly and excited. It was definitely an experience that we will remember. We appreciate all the work it took to plan her wish and are thankful for absolutely everything Kids Wish Network has done.”

Braelyn has recently completed her occupational and physical therapies but still experiences significant right-side weakness in her hand and foot caused by the bleeds. Her family is considering an eye surgery within the next year to correct nerve damage to her eye.

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