Dr. Blaine John, Angelina’s pediatric cardiologist, shares the incredible impact of Angelina’s wish to have a Royal Ball:
Wish Granters: Nurka Marrero & Pat Rapplean
I’ve known Angelina longer than just about anyone else. I first "saw" Angelina as a tiny fetus, weighing not even 4 ounces. At that time I diagnosed her with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare heart defect where a baby is born with “half a heart”. I saw her through three open-heart surgeries before she was even five years old. And now, thanks to Make-A-Wish, I've seen her dressed as a beautiful princess, frolicking around with her friends to a DJ's music for hours on end. It gives me hope and faith in all that we can achieve when we all work together.
I wouldn’t have missed Angelina’s big day for anything. She wished for a royal ball – and wow, it was straight out of a princess storybook. Angelina planned out exactly what she wanted in her journal, and Make-A-Wish Southern Florida made every detail come to life. She and her sisters were pampered with professional makeup and hairstyling before being chauffeured in a limousine to the gorgeous and iconic Biltmore hotel. She enjoyed a red-carpet arrival in a horse-drawn carriage while her guests cheered from the balcony, a Thanksgiving feast for dinner, and a dessert bar with all her favorite candies in her favorite colors.
This wish was so important to Angelina because it reflects both sides of her life -- she is an ordinary young lady who loves glitter, princesses and birthday parties, but she is an extraordinary young lady who has overcome so much in her eleven years. Her wish was to have a royal ball – a very special, unique and wonderful party, just as Angelina herself is so very special, very unique and wonderful.
Like many children born with critical illnesses, Angelina's life will never be completely "normal." However, Make-A-Wish has made a huge difference in Angelina's life and how she and her family view her condition. While Angelina is the bravest girl I know, coming to her check-ups used to only bring back bad memories. Now when she thinks about her heart it isn’t all bad or worrisome. Since Angelina’s wish, Angelina and her family have these incredibly good and happy memories to get them through the tough times.
Referred by Dr. Blaine John, her physician
Wish adopted by Roofing Contractors Association of South Florida
Photos courtesy of Lisa Lefevre Photography