Nicholas, a young man from the central Illinois town of Petersburg is often described as being kind, quiet, and extremely giving. Active and avid about sports, Nicholas was diagnosed with a cardiac condition after losing consciousness during a basketball game in 2014. His life-threatening condition causes his heart to go out of rhythm, requiring surgery to have a defibrillator implanted.
Introduced to Make-A-Wish during the course of his treatment, Nicholas expressed a desire to travel to Moorea in the French Polynesian Society Islands. He was interested in visiting an exotic place and wanted to stay in a water bungalow.
“[The wish] gave him something to look forward to, especially since we had a lot of life changes after he was diagnosed,” his mom said.
He and his family flew to the South Pacific where the highlights of Nick’s trip included an island tour, swimming with rays and sharks, and, of course, sleeping over the water. As they were leaving Moorea, they had a chance encounter with the President of French Polynesia, who was overwhelmed to learn Nick selected a visit to his island nation as his one true wish. Nick’s meeting with the President was featured in the local news.
“I was extremely lucky twice in my life; first being revived on June 7, 2014 after my heart stopped and again when I discovered Moorea," Nick told The Tahiti Dispatch.
The family sincerely enjoyed escaping the Midwest for a while and spending time together in a beautiful place.
“It was truly an amazing experience for Nick and our whole family to spend that time together,” Nick’s mother said. “It was an opportunity of a lifetime.”