Hope’s dream was to fly to South Africa to visit her grandparents and cousins, uncles and aunts who she has never met It wasn’t only a holiday, but a huge family reunion and when Hope returned home she asked her mum: “Can we go again?”
Hope is a very brave two-year-old girl who was born with a life-threatening heart defect known as Ebstein anomaly. Her mum, Leanne said, Hope is a cherished little girl because “We nearly lost her at birth.” She has already had some vital-heart surgery and will have to have another operation very soon.
Hope’s dream was to visit her grandparents who live in South Africa. Before the holiday, Leanne said “We would love to introduce our little miracle to our family.”
The South African holiday was everything the family could have wished for and more. It was a wonderful distraction from hospital appointments and to have a change of scene was the perfect medicine for all of the family.
Leanne said “I just wanted to say a huge big thank you for the wonderful trip to South Africa. It was a once in a lifetime trip for Hope and her brother, and we hope that they will cherish the memories that we hopefully made for them. It was a very special trip, and Hope really bonded with all her family.”
Hope had a cardiology appointment a few days before the family were due to go, and they came home to a letter saying Hope would be needing more surgery than was previously thought, as the damage to her heart is so great.
Leanne said: “This made the trip even more meaningful, as although we always hope for the best and take one day at a time, we just do not know what the future holds. Hope is a true little fighter though, so I have no doubt that she will conquer as many obstacles that she can. We had an absolutely wonderful time, and the time we got to spend together as a family will never be forgotten. Needless to say, there were a lot of tears when we left.”
Seeing their grandchildren Hope and Tyler for the first time was also a dream come true for grandparents Norma and Colin and they said: “We have just spent two glorious weeks with our daughter Leanne and her family. I cannot thank you and the organisation enough for granting little Hope her wish to visit us and of course the rest of the family. We will all treasure these memories. Photos, phone calls, Skype, etc. are all great but nothing beats holding that little person in your arms. She is a wonderful little girl, and we are so grateful to have been given the opportunity to have her and all the family here with us.
As we are both pensioners, overseas travel is unfortunately not on our budget, and we are truly grateful to you that we have been able to meet Hope in person. We both really appreciate all that your organisation does to grant the wishes of these special children.”
Author: Hannah Attenburrow
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