“Ashlyn couldn’t stop smiling”
Ashlyn was born a little more than four weeks premature, but otherwise, completely healthy. It wasn’t until her parents noticed some developmental delays that they realized something might be wrong. After visiting specialists, Ashlyn was diagnosed with strabismus, eye crossing, and global development delays; she was more than six months behind schedule.
When she began favoring one side of her body more than the other, doctors ordered an MRI in February 2012. The results were shocking; little Ashlyn was diagnosed with Chiari malformation, a life-threatening structural defect in the part of the brain that controls balance.
“I never thought my baby daughter would have a diagnosis that included the word incurable,” recalls mom Jamie.
On April 11 of that year, Ashlyn underwent a decompression surgery to help keep her brain in place and drain excess fluid. The surgery was a success, but Ashlyn and her family regularly check her large scar for signs of complications.
She continues to have developmental and physical delays growing up, but she works through them with a constant smile on her face.
This smile was definitely a permanent fixture during her magical wish trip to the Florida theme parks, including Disney World and SeaWorld. Ashlyn loved meeting the Disney Princesses, watching the Shamu Show at SeaWorld, and spending time with her sisters. The highlight for little Ashlyn was meeting Tinker Bell, her favorite Disney character.
“Thank you so much for making Ashlyn’s trip so magical,” recalls her mom Jamie. “Her wish to meet Tinker Bell came true; she loved everything and couldn’t stop smiling.”
Ashlyn is currently doing well and just celebrated her 4th birthday and her two-year post-op anniversary.