Haylee was born with a condition called Biliary Atresia. This disease blocks your bile ducts and will not let bile drain from your liver. This caused Haylee to have cirrhosis of the liver by the time she was 3 months old. Thanks to a special procedure, Haylee was able to live a relatively normal life until she turned 12 when she had a massive bleed and almost died. To control the bleeding she had to have several banding procedures done while waiting on a transplant. They would go down through her throat and band any areas that looked susceptible to bleeding. She was told to not participate in ANY activities because the stress of exerting herself could cause another bleed and they did not feel that she would be able to make it to the hospital in time to stop the bleeding. It was then Make-A-Wish® came into the picture. The Oklahoma chapter granted Haylee’s wish in August, 2011 to go to New York City for a shopping spree. She was 18 at the time.
Haylee had always wanted to visit New York City. She felt like a queen the entire trip. A limousine picked her and her family up at the airport and transported them to their hotel, which was in the middle of the city. Haylee got to decide everything that they did during the trip. Not only did a limo escort her to all of her favorite stores, but Haylee had the opportunity to visit many other New York attractions like the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, Dylan’s Candy Bar, FAO Schwartz, The Plaza Hotel, the Apple Store and even a Broadway play. Her family ate and shopped and took a carriage ride through Central Park. Haylee said, “It was such a wonderful experience I did not ever want to leave. I felt so lucky to be able to have this experience. It was a trip of a lifetime!”
Currently Haylee is on daily anti-rejection medications to prevent her from having complications and she will be on the medications for the rest of her life. She says “I have gotten used to the few, mostly dietary, restrictions and am able to live a mostly “normal” life.” Since her wish, Haylee graduated high school and is a freshman in college at the University of Oklahoma.
Haylee has also made the decision to become an Oklahoma wish granter! She wanted to give back to the organization that made such a difference in her life. She remembers her wish granters and her first wish meeting. Haylee said, “When we were leaving, [Braum’s] they sprayed silly string and confetti all over me!” When asked what every wish kid or parent should know about Make-A-Wish® she said, “They [Make-A-Wish®] really want the best for you and are so happy to help you make your wish come true.” She went on to talk about reasons to support Make-A-Wish® Oklahoma saying,“What in the world can make you feel better than to help a sick child that might never have the opportunity to experience many of their life dreams? To have a single day or week where it is just about them to have anything their heart desires is such an amazing thing to give to a completely helpless child that did nothing to cause their condition. I can’t think of any organization I would rather help than children that can’t help themselves. I have had such a good experience I can’t imagine not giving back.”
Haylee’s favorite memory from her trip was riding through the streets of New York City in a limo and being able to stand up and look out of the sunroof. A few weekends ago Haylee met her first wish child and cannot wait to get started.