This wish granted in 2018
Sabrina was born at 39 weeks in February 2012 with only one lung and a very weak airway She spent her first months in the hospital; three weeks at Blank Children’s Hospital and the remaining days at the University of Iowa. During her time at the University of Iowa, Sabrina underwent numerous surgeries including an airway revision surgery and a gastrostomy tube (G-tube) replacement. After 109 days in the hospital, Sabrina’s family was excited to finally welcome her home. Sabrina was only home for nine days before she was taken back to the hospital due to aspiration.
Eventually, Sabrina underwent a Nissen Fundoplication surgery in order to reinforce her lower esophageal sphincter; it was after this surgery that Sabrina was able to be discharged to Childserve where she would work on breathing without the help of a high-flow nasal cannula. Sabrina returned home after her discharge from Childserve but was in and out of the hospital numerous times due to a weakened immune system. Sabrina continued to experience airway complications which led to more surgeries in attempts to prevent collapse. Aside from her airway complications, Sabrina was also suffering from seizures was also diagnosed with autism.
Sabrina’s Make-A-Wish® journey first began in 2017 when she received her approval letter for her wish. Shortly after receiving her letter, Sabrina and her family met with the Make-A-Wish volunteers to begin the process of planning her wish experience. To best prepare for her wish, the volunteers asked questions that allowed them to get to know Sabrina and her family and understand her one true wish.
“We got the letter in the mail that she had been approved and we were ecstatic – but overwhelmed with emotions as well! We knew exactly what we wanted to do as Sabrina was the BIGGEST fan of Mickey Mouse and we knew she would love to go to Disney World! We decided that in March 2018 we were going to Disney, specifically to see the fireworks at Magic Kingdom as Sabrina loved fireworks! For our trip, we spent a week in Florida and were treated like royalty, from start to finish. It was such a great time to just relax and stop and enjoy everything around us and not worry about anything medical”
In 2019, Sabrina’s condition worsened despite the tireless efforts made by the University of Iowa. Knowing that something had to be done, Sabrina was entered into a referral process to the Boston Children’s Hospital. Before she was able to be admitted there, Sabrina was hospitalized three times over the span of two months and was sent to Childserve again for restrengthening.
Struggling to eat and drink, Sabrina was given a G-tube again to aid her in eating and drinking. Once she was strong enough to travel, she was sent to the Boston Children’s Hospital in hopes of a miracle airway surgery that would significantly improve her condition. It was in July 2020 that Sabrina finally received the airway surgery but sadly it was too much for her to handle and she peacefully passed away.
Sabrina’s family lovingly reflect on their time spent together as a family during her wish trip to Disney World. “I constantly think back to our trip and smile at all the memories we made, at the time we were able to just stop and really enjoy our time with her,” her mother shares. “Make-A-Wish will forever hold a very special place in my heart, and I will forever be thankful for the time they gave us to make our dreams come true. Because of that, I will forever bring support and attention to them as every family deserves time to just stop and really enjoy their time with each other. To everyone who works to make wishes happen, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for that special time with my Sabrina.”
Sabrina’s family shares the impact of her wish on her medical journey and their time together as a family. Sabrina’s family encourages everyone to become involved with Make-A-Wish and experience the magic of life-changing wishes.