“The wish gave Shelby the ability to go ‘bye-bye’ to have fun, not go to a doctor”
Shelby and her twin brother were born at 34 weeks. Despite weighing a mere five pounds at birth, Shelby was released from the hospital with her brother. The first sign of her health problems were seen after her six month checkup. Seven hours after the appointment where she received her six-month shots, Shelby had her first seizure. It lasted eight minutes. After a 22 minute break, she experienced her first grand mal seizure, a type of seizure that involves a loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions.
After many medications and a few misdiagnoses, Shelby was finally diagnosed at age six with Dravet syndrome, a rare and catastrophic form of intractable epilepsy. It is a debilitating, life-long condition that can severely impede an individual’s quality of life. Frequent seizures, poor seizure control, developmental delays, and a higher risk of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy are all associated with Dravet syndrome.
Shelby is an affectionate and friendly little girl. She loves horses, Curious George, going on car rides, arts and crafts, and playing in the pool. Being from Arkansas, Shelby does not get to visit the beach very often.
Kids Wish Network wanted to grant Shelby’s dream and send her to Cocoa Beach so she could swim in the Atlantic Ocean and do all sorts of fun activities that are only found in Florida. Many generous donors and sponsors worked with Kids Wish Network to make Shelby’s dream a reality.
During her wish, Shelby and her family stayed at the luxurious Hilton Los Cocoa Beach Oceanfront and traveled around the area in a sleek rental car provided by National Rental Car. In addition to digging her toes in the sands of Cocoa Beach, Shelby was also treated to several fun-filled activities including searching for manatees and dolphins on a Wildside Tours boat, exploring the world famous Kennedy Space Center, and playing a round at Lighthouse Cove Mini Golf. The family was also provided wonderful dinners courtesy of the elegant Fat Snook, the spectacular Fat Kahunas and beautiful Cocoa Beach Pier.
Shelby said her favorite part of the entire wish was her VIP experience at The Brevard Zoo. The Brevard Zoo gave her the chance to do things that usually only certified zookeepers do. Shelby went behind the scenes to feed and get “up close” with many of the more rare animals, animals that you wouldn’t find in the wild here in the United States.
Shelby’s mother Bridget explained just how meaningful the wish was for her daughter. “Shelby was treated like the perfect angel she is! She loved the attention that everyone showed her. The wish trip was better than we could’ve ever expected. We are forever grateful and blessed by Kids Wish Network!”