For 6-year-old Patrick, life is focused on what other people can do for him.
Patrick was born neurotypical, but an injury caused by individuals in the first year of his life caused issues, that even today require multiple therapy and doctors’ appointments each week. He spent his first birthday in a coma and was not expected to survive. He is non-verbal and requires a wheelchair to be mobile.
That is why, when first approached by Make-A-Wish, Patrick’s family wasn’t sure he would be a good candidate. How would they know what Patrick’s one true wish was?
Although Patrick cannot vocalize his needs in a typical fashion, he does use vocal approximation that those close to him have learned to understand. The more they talked about the options with Patrick, there was only one option that seemed to receive a reaction.
“Patrick’s cousin Kira used to live in Arizona, and when she met Patrick for the first time, there was an instant bond,” said his mom, Kimberly. “She always wanted to include him in everything and even slept in his bed sometimes. Every time Patrick sees her, he just glows.”
“He gets mad if she has a boyfriend, or other friends, or has to leave,” she continued with a laugh.
Kira lives in North Carolina, so Patrick’s family talked with Patrick about going to see Kira. Every time it was mentioned, Patrick started smiling happily. It soon was decided – a trip to North Carolina to see Kira was a great wish for him!
Once in North Carolina, Kira, Patrick, and the family visited the zoo, the aquarium and arranged a family photo shoot they will never forget.
“The zoo was amazing. A local wish granter works high up in the zoo’s management, so she got all our food and drinks covered, and even gave the Patrick and his siblings gift cards to use in the gift shop. We didn’t pay a dime for anything,” said Kimberly.
“Our photographer was great as well, and so patient when we had to maneuver Patrick in and out of his wheelchair, and all that came with making him comfortable for the photos. We will cherish these photos forever,” said Kimberly.
Patrick’s favorite part of his wish was being with Kira, just having her nearby, talking with her and laying together on her bed.
His mom’s favorite part was seeing Patrick so happy.
“The trip took about a year of planning,” continued Kimberly. “We had to find the right week to maximize our time together. We had to schedule it around the kids’ school schedules, especially Kira’s who is a busy high school senior."
“We were glad to have the opportunity to have our families together before Kira graduates. It was especially great because we recreated a photo of Patrick and Kira when they were younger, to show their progress through the years,” said Kimberly. “Most importantly, Patrick had so much fun with Kira without all of the stress of his condition, finances, or more. That meant so much to us.”