“He’ll always have his happy memories of family togetherness in Florida.”
At birth, Gabriel was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition that occurs when fluid builds up in the skull and causes the brain to swell. It came with many challenges. Gabriel has undergone surgery to implant a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt to help relieve pressure on his brain caused by fluid accumulation. He’s been in the hospital multiple times from ongoing seizures. Some of Gabriel’s stays lasted for up to a week, and during one visit he was placed on a ventilator. He also cannot walk, and relies on a wheelchair. While most kids are carefree playing outdoors, Gabriel must be cautious. Heat and being out in the sun trigger his seizures.
Gabriel hoped to experience fun times with his family at Disney World. Kids Wish Network flew them to Florida to experience a memorable Orlando adventure. Gabriel had many firsts visiting Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. He even rode his first rollercoaster. During the trip, the family stayed at the scenic Westgate Lakes Resort and Spa. “The hotel was great,” said Gabriel’s mom Lawqueshia. Gabriel especially loved their room’s big bathtub.
They also had memorable dining experiences at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Planet Hollywood and Café Tu Tu Tango. “Bubba Gump Shrimp was so nice,” said Gabriel’s mom. “The manager was waiting for us and gave Gabriel a gift basket.” He also spent time with the family playing Bubba Gump trivia. At Planet Hollywood, they were also greeted by the manager who seated them at a special table in front of the restaurant’s big screen… Gabriel even appeared on it. The family also enjoyed Café Tu Tu Tango…it was lively and eclectic.
The wish was extra momentous… it was Gabriel’s birthday the last day of his trip. While on the plane, the flight attendant announced that it was his special day, and everyone joined in to celebrate in song.
Gabriel’s extraordinary vacation was his dream come true, and he’ll always have his happy memories of family togetherness in Florida.