“Katie couldn’t stop smiling”
Katie was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2009 and tried medication after medication to try and control her seizures, but nothing seemed to work. At the end of the year, Katie suffered from a grand mal seizure, a serious episode categorized by a loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions. After that incident, doctors upped Katie’s diagnosis to intractable epilepsy, meaning that her seizures are difficult to control despite medication.
By 2012, Katie was suffering from over 100 seizures every day. Because medication couldn’t fully control her debilitating episodes, doctors implanted a pacemaker-like device to utilize vagus nerve stimulation, a technique that generates pulses of electricity at regular intervals. Since then, Katie dropped to having only a few seizures per week, a vast improvement in her quality of life.
As a result of her frequent seizures, Katie suffers from some short-term memory loss and is a little slow to respond, but she doesn’t let that stop her from enjoying life. Katie loves to help others and make new friends. The compassionate 14-year-old is a huge country music fan and dreams of becoming a singing sensation.
As an aspiring country star, Katie felt right at home when Kids Wish Network granted her wish to visit Nashville. Her wish trip was packed full of authentic “country” activities and even some rising stars. KWN arranged for Katie to meet not one, but two country music stars on her trip.
First, was a meet-and-greet with Katie’s favorite singer, Laura Bell Bundy. The pair met at a local café and enjoyed bonding over shared experiences and discussing country music. Laura posed for photos and wrote Katie a personal note.
“It was so wonderful to meet Katie and hear about her life and journey,” said Laura Bell Bundy. “She’s a very bright and spirited young lady, and I have a feeling she could accomplish whatever she sets her mind on in life.”
“Laura Bell was incredible and Katie is a bigger fan now than before,” adds her mom. “She couldn’t stop smiling or talking about it.”
Then, KWN Guardian Angel and rising country star Noah Garner surprised Katie at dinner one night. Katie and Noah started a fast friendship that continued the next day when Noah took her to get “real” cowboy boots and spent the afternoon touring the city.
“Noah made my trip so, so very, very special,” Katie gushed.
Noah was especially moved by meeting Katie and taking part in her wish experience.
“Working with Kids Wish Network to help grant Katie’s wish is truly one of the best feelings I’ve ever had,” Noah said. “I think I’m the blessed one to be able to meet heroes like her. I want to do the best I can to bring happiness to the lives of more kids with life-threatening illnesses.”
Katie also enjoyed luxury accommodations, fun-filled dinners and other Nashville-area activities on her trip.
“Katie had an amazing and memorable time,” said her mom.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank each and every sponsor that helped make Katie’s Nashville wish a once-in-a-lifetime experience:
• Laura Bell Bundy
• Noah Marler Garner
• Sheraton Music City Hotel
• Wildhorse Saloon
• Nashville Zoo
• Jack’s BBQ
• Pinewood Social
• Nashville Shores Waterpark
• Old Hickory Grill
• Back Yard Burgers
• Enterprise Rent-A-Car