Wish for a va­ca­tion es­cape comes true for Swift Cur­rent teenager

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - NEWS - By Matthew Lieben­berg mlieben­[email protected]­t.com

Fif­teen-year-old Amisha Hock­ridge of Swift Cur­rent is en­joy­ing a sum­mer trip with her fam­ily to a city that does not in­clude any med­i­cal ap­point­ments.

She was granted a wish by Make-A-Wish Canada and she de­cided to make a travel wish.

“I want to spend time with my fam­ily, some­where we can go and didn’t have to think about med­i­cal stuff,” she told the Prairie Post a few days be­fore their de­par­ture to Dubai. “It’s not a trip where we go on a trip, but then you also have to go and spent some days in a hos­pi­tal some­where.”

They de­parted from Cal­gary on July 6 on a flight to Paris, where they had time for sight­see­ing dur­ing a day-long lay­over. They ar­rived in Dubai on July 8 and will spend a week in this pop­u­lar Mid­dle East tourism des­ti­na­tion.

Amisha was feel­ing really ex­cited and full of an­tic­i­pa­tion to have this unique ex­pe­ri­ence with her par­ents Mike and Veena, and her older brother Kr­ishin.

“I wanted it to be some­thing way dif­fer­ent,” she said about her wish.

She se­lected three al­ter­na­tive des­ti­na­tions for her wish, of which Dubai was her first choice. Her other two wish des­ti­na­tions were a Dis­ney cruise and Hawaii. She was at­tracted to Dubai for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons.

“Dubai has the world largest shop­ping mall and then they also have the world’s tallest build­ing and they have this shark slide,” she explained. “So it’s a wa­ter slide, it’s like a clear tube, that sur­rounds you with sharks. It just has a whole bunch of cool things. So that’s why I picked it.”

She loves ski­ing and one of the world’s largest in­door ski ar­eas are lo­cated in Dubai. She is also looking for­ward to a camel ride in the desert and a trip in of­froad ve­hi­cles across the desert dunes.

Her fam­ily did not know which des­ti­na­tions she se­lected for the wish. Her par­ents felt it was im­por­tant for her to make the de­ci­sion on the des­ti­na­tions on her own, be­cause it will be her trip of a life­time.

“It’s her wish and we want it to be all about her,” Veena said. “We’re ex­cited that she gets to have the wish of her life­time and that’s some­thing pos­i­tive for her in­stead of al­ways hos­pi­tals and doc­tors.”

The cost of the wish is cov­ered by Make-A-Wish Canada, which al­lows a wish child and her fam­ily to have a re­lax­ing and mem­o­rable trip.

“It’s all about the wish child hav­ing the best time of their life with­out wor­ry­ing about hos­pi­tals and med­i­ca­tion, and if she gets sick while we’re there, we’re cov­ered as well,” Veena said.

Amisha sub­mit­ted her three wish op­tions a while ago to Make-A-Wish Canada, and she learned about her wish des­ti­na­tion dur­ing a sur­prise wish re­veal party in Swift Cur­rent on June 21. The party was at­tended by her fam­ily and friends, as well as her lo­cal physi­cian, her Grade 1 teacher and her dance teacher.

“I walked in and I was not ex­pect­ing to see any of my friends, be­cause we’ve said good­bye to each other for the end of the year that day, right be­fore the party,” she laughed. “So I was say­ing good­bye to all of them and say­ing I’ll see you next year, and they were all hes­i­tant when they were say­ing see you next year, but I didn’t think any­thing of it.”

The fam­ily will re­turn to Canada from their Dubai trip on July 16, and on July 19 they will par­tic­i­pate in the K-Days Pa­rade in Ed­mon­ton as part of the Make-AWish Canada pa­rade en­try.

Un­for­tu­nately, Amisha will not be able to es­cape en­tirely from the real­ity of her med­i­cal condition dur­ing this time. Trips to Cal­gary usu­ally in­cludes med­i­cal vis­its, and as a cost saving mea­sure for the fam­ily this trip will be no dif­fer­ent. Amisha had some med­i­cal ap­point­ments be­fore their de­par­ture for Dubai. After their re­turn there will be more ap­point­ments in Cal­gary be­fore they travel to Ed­mon­ton for the K-Days Pa­rade.

She has a rare condition called Mi­cro­tia, which is a con­gen­i­tal ear deformity, but each case is dif­fer­ent. She was born with­out an outer and mid­dle right ear, her head was de­formed, she had a teth­ered spinal cord and one kid­ney was only per­form­ing at 30 per cent ca­pac­ity.

Mi­cro­tia is a condition that af­fects one in ev­ery 10,000 chil­dren, but Amisha is one of ev­ery 8,000 chil­dren born with more se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions.

She al­ready had 14 surg­eries and part of the med­i­cal con­sul­ta­tion in Cal­gary after their re­turn will be to de­ter­mine if there is a need for more surgery to her spine.

The cost of travel and ac­com­mo­da­tion to var­i­ous cities for med­i­cal ap­point­ments has been an on­go­ing expense for the fam­ily, which is also why a date for a trip to the Na­tion­wide Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal in Colum­bus, Ohio, has not yet been fi­nal­ized. A med­i­cal spe­cial­ist at this hos­pi­tal will do an eval­u­a­tion of her bowel condition, which is re­lated to her Mi­cro­tia.

“We really need to get to Ohio so we can give her this change for her bowel sit­u­a­tion,” Veena said. “It is very te­dious on her, and tak­ing med­i­ca­tion ev­ery day for 15 years has been kind of crazy just to be able to get her bow­els to work at all. So this is a big blessing that this doc­tor has taken on her case, and if any­body has any fundrais­ing ideas they can throw them at us.”

Peo­ple who want to sup­port the fam­ily with their ex­penses to take Amisha to Ohio for her med­i­cal con­sul­ta­tion can pur­chase gift cards at Mar­lin Travel to help with flight costs, or they can make a do­na­tion to “The Amisha Hock­ridge Med­i­cal Trust Fund” at In­no­va­tion Credit Union.

Photo sub­mit­ted

The Hock­ridge fam­ily at Cal­gary In­ter­na­tional Air­port shortly be­fore de­part­ing for Dubai, July 6. From left to right, Kr­ishin, Amisha, Veena and Mike Hock­ridge.

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