In 2017, Samantha’s cardiac condition took a serious turn, requiring surgery and hospitalization on and off for almost a year and months of rehabilitation. While she was in the hospital she missed her birthday, Christmas, and all of her friends from school.
A social worker at Lurie Children’s Hospital referred Samantha to Make-A-Wish. While Samantha did the hard work of coming back from this most recent medical scare, she dreamt about celebrating with her friends who have always provided a supportive and loving environment for her. She shared this wish with her Make-A-Wish volunteers and soon the plans were in place.
With a special trip to Macy’s on State to find the perfect party dress and accessories, Sammy was ready for the big party. More than 100 friends, family, teachers and medical professionals came together for Sammy’s festive birthday celebration. Her college-aged siblings were even home for the holidays and able to celebrate this special occasion with her. A Christmas theme, hot chocolate bar, dancing and fun characters made the night extra special. Sammy shares that her favorite part was when everyone sang Happy Birthday to her.
Many months later, she still has her party dress hanging where she can see it in her room and a few of the best photos of the night are on display. While the party was tons of fun, knowing that she has so many people who love her helps Sammy get through the tougher days of living life with a critical illness.