At 16, Sarah Connell was born with Downs Syndrome and a heart condition. Her dream is to have a swimming pool of her own. Last Friday, with the help of The Make a Wish Foundation and the United Way of Newfoundland and Labrador, Sarah will get her wish — a swimming pool in her back yard.
“It will be a big pool, with lots of slides,” said the happy 16-year-old.
Sarah said the pool will be for her family and friends and she loves to swim, but “the slides are the best!”
“This is incredibly rewarding and the most gratifying, it is a moment bringing hope to a family,” said Edie Newton, Chapter Director of the Make a Wish Foundation, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Newton says so far this year they have granted 38 wishes to children and hope to do as many as 41 by the end of the year.
She says this family has sacrificed so much in their care for Sarah, with her in and out of hospital over the years and the numerous heart surgeries, “I can see no family is so deserving to have this wish come true.”
For Sarah’s father, Alisdair, he was surprised at how fast the wish was granted.
“We were in St. John’s because Sarah needed treatment and we decided to go to the Make a Wish office, they interviewed us and several emails later, they are here granting Sarah’s wish, all this in two weeks,” he said.
Alisdair says Sarah has always loved to swim and does every day and now she will be able to in her own pool at home.
“Make a Wish has helped tremendously in making Sarah’s wish come true, they have been wonderful,” he added.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Their goal is to enrich the lives of the children they work with to bring hope, strength and joy and make life a little better.