A Swimmingly Good Time for Sophia


“SeaWorld was her favorite part of the trip”

Sophia is a 9-year-old girl who woke up one morning paralyzed. The entire right side of her body wasn’t functioning. Sophia had an enormous bleed on her brain, and weak blood vessels had started growing in Sophia’s brain. They had leaked and caused an enormous bleed on her brain. Sophia needed neurosurgery to remove the baseball-sized malformation. It wasn’t until after a second cavernous malformation resection surgery that Sophia began to regain feeling in her body. She began the difficult process of relearning how to walk.

The thrills for Sophia started from the get go of her wish trip to the theme-park capital of the U.S. The 9-year-old was giddy over taking a plane ride to Florida! The plane ride was quickly eclipsed by all of the fun she had at SeaWorld. There she rode Manta, the steel flying roller coaster, and Sophia was hooked. Sophia also discovered how much she enjoyed the touch tank that enabled her to actually pet the different animals living in their habitats. Over 200 stingrays are available for guests to feel a velvety smooth “high five” from as the docile sea creatures swim by. The Blue Horizons show was another highlight of Sophia’s day as the theatrical performance features dolphins, tropical birds, and colorful acrobatic tricks. Visiting SeaWorld was Sophia’s favorite part of her wish trip.

Courtesy of Merlin’s Magic Wand, Sophia gained entrance to Orlando’s Sea Life Aquarium. The magical underwater world has over 5,000 creatures for visitors to view, including face-to-face encounters with sharks and an up close and personal look at the largest species of octopus in the world. Sea Life shows guests how they breed, rescue, and protect all of the animals in their care. The aquatic paradise was another hit for marine enthusiast Sophia.

After wonderful meals at Bahama Breeze, Red Lobster, and Uno’s Chicago Bar and Grille each night, Sophia would return to the Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista to swim to her heart’s content in the hotel pool. It was there that Enchanted Entertainment surprised Sophia by sending over a whimsical group of fairies. Sophia had a ball playing with the fairies and having her face painted by them. It was the perfect ending to Sophia’s fairytale wish trip.

Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following Guardian Angel sponsors who made Sophia’s dreams possible:
• Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista
• Compassion Partners
• Enterprise Rent-A-Car
• Uno’s Chicago Bar & Grille
• Bahama Breeze
• Red Lobster
• Merlin’s Magic Wand
• Sea Life
• Madame Tussauds
• Orlando Eye
• Enchanted Entertainment

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