15-year-old Joshua, diagnosed with congenital heart anomalies, longed to participate in the activities of his peers. Skateboarding, bike riding, playing outside, all of this was nearly impossible because of his life-threatening medical condition. When he learned of Make-A-Wish®, he quickly expressed his one true wish; Joshua wished to go to Hawaii and spend time with his family.
After a second surgery to correct his heart problems, Joshua was now stronger and eager to leave for his upcoming wish. Even though the family arrived late at night, they all went down for a walk on the beach. “Our first day was perfect for Josh,” his mother said. “He was so active and enjoyed everything-- the weather, the water, the activities. The para sailing experience was such a special and big moment for our family.” The boat owner let Josh para sail two extra times. Josh was so thrilled. He said “I felt like I was flying like a bird.”
When heavy rain cancelled out their surf lessons, they went to a rain forest. “It was like being in a different world,” Josh said. “It was beautiful and so much fun. There was a lot of oxygen in the air so I could breathe easily.”
The family also went on a snorkeling cruise which Josh thoroughly enjoyed. “It was my first time snorkeling, and it was amazing to swim with the fish and sea turtles.”
As for his very favorite part, Josh said, “Every day was the best day ever! After para sailing, I took a real plunge and jumped off a cliff--something I have always been afraid of. It felt great to conquer my fear.”
One of the biggest surprises of their trip was a spontaneous decision his mother and step-father made to get married on the beach with Josh and his younger brother present. Davina explained, “We hadn’t planned it, but we really solidified and bonded as a family while in Hawaii. It was so emotional for all of us during the ceremony, having our kids next to us with their feet in the water and hearing a conch shell being blown.”
Davina expressed her gratitude for the wish. “We couldn’t believe we were there in Hawaii. Every day and everything was so wonderful. Josh felt like he was just a normal kid having a great time with his family. Because of Make-A-Wish®, we had no worries; we could just relax, have fun as a family, and enjoy the beauty of Hawaii. We have made many special and beautiful memories that will help us when difficult times happen.”