Isla’s parents found out before she was born that she would need extra care. She was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect that would require surgery and at just three days old, Isla had her first open heart surgery. Then at three months old, she had to have another procedure and before turning two, she had her second and third open heart surgeries.
Despite frequent doctor visits and medical challenges, Isla remains a champ, even the hospital staff describe her as a spitfire. Her family hopes Isla’s heart will continue to grow without needing future surgeries but doctors anticipate she will need additional procedures in the coming years.
Isla’s mom, Amanda, describes her daughter as the bravest, strongest and feistiest person. “She still doesn't understand everything with her heart and health, but she is our little rock star. I can say that I have never been so scared in my entire life and still have days that I just cry because I know what can lie ahead. But looking at her melts your heart. We live each day being thankful she is with us,” Amanda said.
Her family tries to treat her as regularly as possible and to her family, Isla is just Isla. They don’t think of her as sick, she just has a special heart. They do have to be extra careful with Isla. Because of her condition, she has to take blood thinners that make her prone to bruising. The slightest nudge can turn into a large bump.
For Isla’s wish, she went with her family to Walt Disney World® Resort last fall. Because she Isla loves all of the Disney princesses, this was the perfect wish for her. Isla’s wish was also her family’s first vacation where all five of them could travel together. They got to enjoy a week of sun and play without the anxiety of medical appointments and surgeries. Isla’s parents were happy to get a chance to totally relax and enjoy the experience without worry.
“Make-A-Wish gives families a break from reality. They give families time to spend together in a unique setting where you can't help but enjoy yourself.” Amanda said. “We cannot thank Make-A-Wish enough for the gift of that week. Never again will we have what was made possible by Make-A-Wish. We will have other vacations, but Disney will always be special.”