“The wish has built Phoenix’s confidence. He knows that people care about him and feels very special.”
When Phoenix was born, doctors first suspected he had a heart murmur. After further testing, they discovered it was something far more serious… he had a congenital heart defect which greatly affected his oxygen levels. Phoenix was sent to another facility that specialized in cardiology and remained hospitalized for 2 weeks. At the age of 5, Phoenix has already had 3 open-heart surgeries. Before one of his procedures, his oxygen levels were so critically low, he almost didn’t survive. There’s been scary and stressful moments during Phoenix’s road to repairing his congenital heart defect. These days, Phoenix’s happiness comes from watching Marshall on Paw Patrol and everything relating to police officers. He wants to work in law enforcement when he grows up because they “catch bad guys.” For now, Phoenix uses his imagination and pretends he’s fighting crime.
Phoenix could have asked for anything, but he simply wished for a toy fire truck and police car. After learning about his interests, Kids Wish Network created a personalized experience with everything that brings Phoenix happiness. His meaningful wish would be in two parts.
Phoenix’s wish began at his local Walmart #642 in Cheraw, where they graciously provided Phoenix with a generous shopping spree. His favorite part was picking out Paw Patrol toys. “He had a wonderful time… the look on his face was priceless,” said his mom Paula. Mike Reighard, the Walmart manager went above and beyond, decorating their conference room in a Paw Patrol theme, and making up Paw Patrol shirts for staff. “The wish has built Phoenix’s confidence,” said his mom. “He knows that people care about him and feels very special.” Derrick Photography was also there to capture all the heartwarming moments of Phoenix’s special experience at Walmart.
After hours of shopping, his family enjoyed more family togetherness, dining at Katz for lunch. Later in the day, Phoenix had a professional photo shoot by Megan McDowell Photography at Cheraw State Park. Phoenix had pictures taken in a police car, wearing a police hat and spending time with officers from the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office and police K-9. Phoenix also received a surprise visit at his home from the Cheraw Fire Department, and received honors as their newest Junior Firefighter. The outpour of community support continued for Phoenix, getting to spend time with the MedShore EMS, Cheraw Rescue Squad and additional members of the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office.
Phoenix still has another portion of his wish to look forward to… he’ll be seeing his favorite character Marshall on stage at Paw Patrol Live in August.
“Phoenix greatly admires his community’s local heroes, and we’re so happy when wishes further inspire our Wish Kids to follow their dreams in bettering the lives of others,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Tam Lai. “We’re so thankful to Walmart and for the support of everyone involved in making his wish so meaningful.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following sponsors for making Phoenix’s dreams become a reality:
- Walmart #642 Cheraw
- Derrick Ford Photography
- Megan McDowell Photography