A Yarmouth wish child who originally wanted to visit with Duck Dynasty characters will be traveling to Disney World this fall to swim with dolphins.
Children’s Wish Foundation Yarmouth coordinator Jean Doucette says 11-year-old Bailey Surette changed her mind about the wish once she was told about the time factor.
“Children's Wish has been working on the same one for a little boy in Amherst for nearly a year and it is nowhere near happening,” said Doucette.
It’s been a hectic six months for Bailey. Last fall she complained to her mother Joelette Crough about ailments that almost every parent has experienced with their child – a headache and stomach ache.
She also had a fever that would not break so her mother took her to the Yarmouth hospital where blood work and x-rays were completed.
“At first we just thought it was a minor flu but we were sadly mistaken,” she said.
Bailey was transported to the IWK Hospital in Halifax where medical staff tried to identify her condition.
“Every morning there would be six doctors or more around her bed. There were a lot of opinions,” said her mother.
Sores began forming in her mouth and her breathing became laboured. X-rays showed fluid in her heart and building up around her lungs. She began thrashing around in her bed, struggling to breathe.
Doctors tested her bone marrow and the results proved positive for Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis - a rare but potentially fatal condition in which white blood cells build up in organs including the skin, spleen, and liver, and destroy other blood cells. This causes fever and damages the liver and spleen, resulting in enlargement of these organs.
Bailey was medicated into an induced coma to fight her infections. Chemotherapy began while she was sedated. She remained in ICU for 14 days.
Several fundraisers were held locally for the family during their month-long stay at Ronald MacDonald House.
“Most of my strength came from the doctors and nurses. They were very
supportive,” said her mother.
Bailey continued receiving a steroid and antibiotic after coming home in November. She’s now medication free and returned to school (Arcadia) in January.
The first child to receive her wish this year in the Yarmouth area is Megan Devine, a student at Meadowfields School. Megan left for Disney World on Feb. 24 to meet the Disney princesses. She has a rare blood disease with reoccurring tumours and has just completed 18 months of chemotherapy.
In the past 25 years the Children’s Wish Foundation has granted 100 wishes in the area.
A Purses for Wishes fundraiser at the Comfort Inn (2 p.m.) on April 5 will benefit the Foundation. The event is a partnership between the Foundation and the Yarmouth Legion, which will be holding other fundraising events later this spring.