By Angela Guimond, Wish Mom and Wish Granter
My husband and I were thrilled to find out we were pregnant with our third child. Even more exciting was the fact that it was a boy! This would make our little family complete. The day came when our son was born and we were thrilled! He was perfect. A little blue, but pinked up quickly. My husband and I went to my room to get some much needed rest as Anthony ‘Tony’ Guimond, was brought to the nursery.
When the nurse checked on me, my husband asked, ‘How’s our boy doing?’ The answer changed our abundant happiness about the birth of our only son to immediate fear and despair. ‘Not good’, was all the nurse said to us.
As the day went on, we saw our son in a crib with a clear tent around it, and we were told that 100% oxygen was being administered. Still, his pulse oxygen stats would not get about 70. The norm is 100. A pediatrician was called in to figure out if it was a respiratory problem or a cardiac problem. Respiratory was ruled out, cardiac was not. A team from Syracuse was called in. But because of the horrible snow storm, it would take even longer than the normal three-hour drive. In the meantime, my husband and I sat in agony. Tony had two big sisters waiting to see their baby brother, and we had no idea if they ever would. Friends called to congratulate me, while I cried to them that we had no idea what was going on. Finally, the team arrived, they assessed Tony, and decided that it was definitely a major cardiac problem. They transported him to the hospital from which they came. We were to follow the next day. We called family members up to see him before he left, fearful that this would be their only chance.
When we finally heard from the specialist, we were told our son had Hypo Plastic Left Heart Syndrome. The left side of his heart never developed in utero. Also, his great arteries were transposed. Baby Tony, at only five days old, would have major surgery on his tiny heart. This began our journey.
Fast forward six years. Tony is about to have his third of three different surgeries to adapt his special heart to his body. We are about to leave our daughters, for the third time, to focus solely on our son. This is a hardship for everyone. We hate to leave, they hate to see us go, and it separates our family at a time when we should all be together, but what if we never are again? I had heard about the Make-A-Wish foundation, but never in a million years did I think I would be able to utilize it, nor was I sure that Tony would qualify for a wish. But I asked anyway, thinking this would be a way for our family to have some happiness come from the time we were all separated from each other.
Tony qualified for a Wish! We were thrilled, and met with Wish granters Jan Murphy and Benny Fairchild to help Tony decide his wish. After a few meetings, Tony’s wish was to meet Katy Perry!
The catch was that Katy was not currently touring. We would have to wait until she began her tour for him to meet her. As such a popular celebrity wish granter, there was already a list of kids waiting ahead of Tony to meet her. However, this did not deter him at all and his wish never wavered! When Tony made his wish, he was five. We finally met her when he was seven! Tony waited a year and half to meet her!
His wish was a dream for all of us! A limo at our front door, a plane ride, our own rental car, a gorgeous hotel on the Hudson River, with a gorgeous NYC skyline view. A limo ride to dinner and the show, a visit to the VIP lounge. Then the big moment, there she was! Tony was in shock, and so was the whole family! There could not have been a more kind, sweet, or giving person to meet. She chatted with Tony, and insisted she meet the whole family, even got crazy when it came to pics! It is something our whole family talks about to this day. And will always be special to me. Three months later, I became a Wish Granter as well. Now Mom gets to makes other kids Wishes come true!