Very shy but polite with an adorable grin, 15-year-old Roberto has been home schooled for the past two years and as he awaits a liver transplant, his life is nearly constantly spent indoors.
His home is his refuge. Roberto told his wish granters, “I feel safe here.” In that spirit, his wish to have a home theater was clearly his true wish! He was very explicit in his vision for the room: a 90” TV with surround sound, recliners, a popcorn machine, candy, and an XBoxOne!
Roberto’s mom worked in secret with the wish granters to keep as much hidden as possible (when painters showed up, that became a bit difficult, but she still kept him out of that part of the house as best she could). She also didn’t tell him what day Make-A-Wish® would show up to execute the final part of his wish. When the day finally arrived, Roberto and his family were taken by stretch limo to dinner and a movie. This gave the wish granters plenty of time for all of their finishing touches.
As 5 p.m. rolled around, the room was nearly complete. Wish granters were sitting to rest a moment when they started noticing Nevada Highway Patrol vehicles on the street. Roberto dreams of one day being a police officer, and when Nevada Highway Patrol learned of his reveal, they came out by the dozens. All told, there were more than 18 squad cars and trucks and 7 motorcycles on the street. Only 6 of the officers were on duty – all others donated their time to get into uniform and come over to Roberto’s!
Roberto looked stunned as he exited the limo and the officers welcomed him home then applauded him upon announcement that this was his wish day. He shook some hands and then went inside to see his room while the limo left. His expression when he saw the room was quiet awe. When asked if he liked it, he softly replied, with a big smile, “I love it.”
So as not to disappoint the guests that had come to see him, Roberto returned to the front yard to take photos with the officers. One motorcycle officer pulled his bike onto the driveway to allow Roberto to sit on it for additional photos. Then came the critical question: did he want to be a motorcycle cop, or a squad car cop? Roberto answered “car” which earned him a little jeering from the motorcycle team. But that just meant the bike needed to be replaced with a charger squad car and into the driver’s seat he went. He blew the sirens at us and smiled as officers described the menagerie of buttons and tools and secrets of the squad car.
After the troopers left, Roberto received a full tutorial of his room and he was able to soak in all of the details provided. He gladly sat in his new theatre style recliners and took some last photos of the day.
Mom and dad were overwhelmed by the day’s events, both teary-eyed and repeatedly thankful to everyone with whom they came in contact. They joked that Roberto would be moving his bed into the new room and never want to leave! For a young man whose first heart surgery came as he was just two days old, they said he’s had a very difficult young life and would relish this room as his safe haven.