Hayden was a typical six-year-old boy who loved the outdoors, animals, fishing, mud, bonfires and playing with Legos. In 2015, however, Hayden was in an accident that caused respiratory failure and caused him to be paralyzed from the neck down. Now eight-years-old, Hayden is wheelchair-dependent and uses a ventilator at all times. His life is much different than what his parents, and even Hayden, thought it would be.
When volunteers from Make-A-Wish Alabama visited Hayden, they learned of his one true wish—“I wish to go to the San Diego Zoo and LEGOLAND.”
On November 8th, Hayden’s family boarded a plane for San Diego, anticipating the adventure of a lifetime. During their week-long visit, Hayden got to spend time at the San Diego Zoo, a long-time dream of his. He loved seeing all the animals, some of which he had only seen in books and on television. His favorite animals in the entire zoo were the pandas.
The San Diego Zoo wasn’t the only place he got to see the animals and sea creatures he has always read about and watched on National Geographic. Since Hayden loves to fish, he got to go fishing in the San Diego Bay where he saw many different types of fish. He describes the experiences as “pretty awesome”.
After all of the sea creature and animal excitement, Hayden’s wish was not over. He got to visit LEGOLAND and the Sea Life Aquarium. He saw huge Lego sculptures and got to pick out some new Legos to add to his collection at home! At the aquarium, Hayden saw many fish, some of which he had seen the day before at the bay. Hayden saw a few large sharks too! Sharks that he jokingly said he hoped he would only see again during Shark Week!
Hayden and his family were able to witness a dream come true—a dream they never thought would be possible because of Hayden’s accident and his condition. They had a week free from the limitations of his condition that they will never forget!