Jack’s passion for the Seahawks began in an unlikely place: an imaging machine.
Doctors were trying to see what they could do to repair his airway and remove his tracheostomy, a result from a life-threatening infection after birth. Three years later. Jack was in the imagine machine and he was scared. His parents thought of something to ease his nerves.
“We told him that the doctor just wanted to take a picture of the Seahawks shirt he was wearing,” Brent said. It worked. “(Jack) started puffing out his chest.”
The Seattle Seahawks are Jack’s heroes but among them, Russell Wilson stands out. Jack became a big fan of Wilson last season during a game in which Wilson got hurt. He was on the ground but he got up, dusted himself off and kept playing.
“Seeing that inspired him,” Brent said. Unable to audibly vocalize, Jack signed, “He’s hurt but he is still playing, we are the same.”
That’s why Jack chose to meet the Seattle Seahawks for his wish. “You can’t put into words the look on a child’s face when they receive their wish,” said Jack’s wish-granting volunteer, Amanda. “It was his day. Jack’s world lit up.”
And, the wish has had a lasting effect on his health that no one saw coming.
Up until one of his recent reconstruction surgeries, Jack could not move any air through his voicebox and had not been able to communicate vocally. He was reluctant to practice his newfound ability to vocalize because it’s so difficult and he’s self-conscious of his developing voice.
But since meeting the Seahawks, Jack has started to vocalize four or five times more. “We thought it was just hangover excitement at first,” Brent said. “We think he’s more willing to practice because he gained confidence from his heroes taking an interest in him. He’s more willing to be who he is.”
When a wish is granted, a child replaces: fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.
“We’ve taken a lot of joy from him vocalizing more,” Brent said. As a father, he says he doesn’t just want his son to survive, but to thrive. “It gives us more hope that he’ll reach his full potential. Living through his joy brought us joy.”
Wish parents and wish-granting volunteers see that a wish come true makes children feel stronger and more willing to go through difficult but vital treatment and therapy. In fact, wishes have proven physical and emotional benefits that can give children with critical illnesses a higher chance of survival.
When you grant wishes, you do even more than bring joy to children with critical illnesses. You give them an edge in conquering their illnesses. Wish kids like Jack need you now more than ever. Become a monthly donor and make a difference for kids like Jack all year long.
Watch Jack's wish unfold from his perspective!