Monday 31 August 2015

Florida Day 3: Magic, everywhere

The forecast was dismal.

Hurricane Erika was on a collision course with the entire state of Florida, with landfall expected Monday. Meanwhile Dominic's condition worsened, throwing up twice overnight through fits of coughing.

We planned for a day at Disneyworld anyhow, hoping against hope that waking him up three hours earlier than normal wouldn't exacerbate the problems and that he'd make it to the hospital for his next platelet transfusion by 2 p.m.

He didn't just make it there, he did it with a smile. Hurricane Dominic arrived, while Erika blew off-course.

His first stop was the theatre at Give Kids the World, where Mickey Mouse came to visit and pose for photos. Dom has no clue what Mickey Mouse or Disney is, having never seen any movies with the iconic character. But we got them together on stage and the result was magic. Thumbs up. Kisses. Hugs and smiles.

"That alone made today worth it," Trish said as we walked to the van.

We spent as much time traveling to and from Disneyworld's Magic Kingdom in Orlando as in the theme park. Half an hour driving plus a half hour walking and taking a boat to the front gate. An average visitor would get on roughly two rides in two hours, but Dom did four. Plus a few photo opps. And we did some shopping and saw a parade. All thanks to being on a wish trip.

You get a button that tells park staff you're special. You get a pass (emblazoned with the image of Genie from Aladdin) that sends you to the front of every line, no questions asked. We also wore our Children's Wish shirts for added effect.

At less than 31 inches tall and needing an oxygen supply, Dominic can't go on a lot of rides. We managed to do some simple ones where you sat back and saw a story portrayed. He and I also drove an on-rails go kart which was great.

But the fun had to end, and he was darn near falling asleep by the end of a Buzz Lightyear video game-style ride.

We got to the clinic at Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital, where we figured he would fall asleep. He didn't, and he didn't get angry at the nurses or doctors, who did a great job with him too. Maybe our happy energy helped, I'm not sure.

We got some more happy energy as he received his platelet transfusion. Though the hospital can't provide specifically-matched platelets, thus our needing to come daily, his platelet count following Sunday's transfusion skyrocketed. We literally high-fived the doctor. We don't have to go daily anymore.

The original plan Tuesday was to take it easy, as we figured Dom would be too worn out after Disney on Monday and we'd have to be back in hospital anyways.

Instead, we're going to visit Hogwarts, Springfield and Spider-man at Universal Studios. Not a hospital in sight.

He remains the boy who lives.

Note: In yesterday's blog I insinuated the hospital bills are being covered through Blue Cross. Turns out because they are planned visits, they aren't insured. That means Children's Wish Foundation foots the bill. Yikes. I can't imagine how much this trip costs. Please consider this when deciding where your donations go.


  1. Way to go Dominic!! You never cease to amaze me, you spread such hope and inspiration to all of us that love you...even if we have never met you. I hope you guys continue to have an amazing, memory filled trip. XOXO

  2. Ahhhh Dom you are a fighter, a trooper, a seriously magical character all of your own.
    I pray each day is this awesome for all of you during this trip.
    Please say hi to Princess Anna for me if you see her.
    Love your smiles and thumbs up bud! xox

  3. So happy to hear of a good day with so many memories! Glad you don't have to visit the hospital daily... Hope tomorrow is another fun day! Continued prayers!

  4. what an awesome day of making memories!! great news that you don' thave to go daily to the hospital either. thinking of all of you and so happy for this time you get to spend in these wonderful places.