“My son is 10 years old and has had 20 surgeries, we hope this is the last one for Jason”, Wish Mum Michelle told Make-A-Wish Ireland.
Jason from Galway, age 10 lives with a rare condition called Congenital Myopathy. Due to his illness, Jason has feeding and breathing difficulties, a lack of muscle tone and is physically weak. Jason’s lungs do not fully function and relies on nebulizers to help him breathe.
One of his mum’s biggest fears is that because the condition is so unknown, the doctors cannot tell her how it will present as he grows up. The bigger Jason gets, there is more internal pressure on his body. Jason also has no movement in his legs so there is always a possibility of them seizing up. Jason’s schedule consists of constant physio, OT, and dietician appointments.
Jason loves animals; sharks, tigers and lions are his favourite. He loves watching The Zoo on RTE. While watching he said, “I would love to do that” and mam suggested Make-A-Wish could make that happen and his mind was blown by the possibility.
His mum first became aware of Make-A-Wish through Muscular Dystrophy Ireland. She saw other children and their families get wishes and Jason’s key worker suggested they apply. They spoke to Jason about it and showed him the Make-A-Wish website with examples of wishes and Jason responded with an “oh Cool” and was really excited about applying for a wish.
Mum said the planning stage of the wish was smooth sailing for her, she had no stress and she knew exactly what was going to happen at all times. Michelle said, “the attention to detail was amazing”.
One of the volunteers involved in Jason’s wish visit was Christina who is actually a zookeeper and Dublin Zoo and has featured in The Zoo show. He got a lovely surprise when Christina was the one who took him around the Zoo on his wish.
Jason’s wish to be a zookeeper was “so unique”. He got to get up close and personal with the animals and got to see them in a way you couldn’t on a regular zoo visit. The behind the scenes feel to the visit thrilled Jason and all his family.
He lapped up all the information he was given on the day, with his favourite fact being that tigers are much bigger than lions. Jason felt like “they were there just for him” when they came up close to the glass. Even one of the tigers shed a whisker during the visit and the zookeeper gave it to Jason to keep!
Mum said, “the impact of Jason’s wish was incredible. Jason had major surgery two days after his wish experience and you could tell he was still on a high from his day at the Zoo as he wasn’t a bit nervous going into the hospital like he normally would be and loved being able to tell all the doctors and nurses about his zookeeper experience”.
He is doing great since and still talks about his zoo visit and wears his zookeeper hat. He has been able to return to school and is really looking forward to Christmas. Jason is such a bright and engaging ten-year-old with a wicked sense of humour!
Please support Make-A-Wish Ireland this Christmas and help create magical memories for children like Jason.