As a trained nurse, Parker’s mom Elizabeth sensed something might be wrong before he was born. It wasn’t until months into his young life and multiple stays in the hospital NICU that doctors were finally able to diagnose Parker with an endocrine disorder.
Elizabeth explains the seriousness of Parker’s condition. “His pituitary gland did not form correctly and he does not produce all of the hormones needed to survive… His condition is very rare, and can be fatal. It is a miracle he survived as long as he did without being diagnosed and is not delayed because of the late diagnosis.”
Parker isn’t the only one at home with medical complexities. His older sister Paytyn, is currently waiting for her wish to be granted as well. Parker wished to have a playset so he can play safely in the comfort of his own backyard under the care of his mom and his home nurse. He specifically requested multiple swings so his sister could swing with him. He loves going to the park but that isn’t an option for his family when they have to monitor his and Paytyn’s conditions.
“During a normal cold and flu season, if there are a lot of the kids sick or getting sick we hold him back from school. We try to prevent him from getting sick as much as possible. With the quarantine going on, Parker had to be quarantined much longer. When this started it was already flu season, so he has been quarantined about 1-1 1/2 months longer than most kids. He does not leave our home currently, as any illness could potentially be fatal.” Elizabeth said. “Any simple cold or illness, immunizations, an injury could result in a life threatening and potential crisis.”
“Parker’s wish means that he will be able to bring the park to our back yard. That he can go on the really hot days, and not have to worry about being sick because of the heat. It means having a sense of "normalcy" that other children have.” Elizabeth said. “To see him happy is the best feeling in the world to me, as we never know what tomorrow will bring us. We make each day count. There are no words to describe how amazing you guys are and how much this means to him.”
It was clear on Parker’s wish day that the swings are his favorite part of his new playset. His mom said he could play for hours on the swings. In addition to his playset, Parker’s volunteer wish granters Janice and Diane surprised him with a few of his favorite things including a big chocolate chip cookie and visit from a “real” T-Rex. While trying out the swings on his brand-new playset, Parker exclaimed “I can reach the trees!”
“Make-A-Wish provides families with hope for the future, and allows kids like Parker, the opportunity to believe that their wishes can be granted and can come true. To see their eyes light up, and the pure joy knowing their wish will be granted gives them something to look forward to, when they have had a rough start in life.... and will struggle lifelong. Most families with medically complex kiddos don't have extra money to afford things such as a playset or a trip to Disney World, so it allows them to be normal and takes their worries away.”
You can help give hope to kids battling critical illnesses. You can help give kids like Parker the opportunity to experience life beyond illness. Learn how you can get involved.