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While recovering from heart transplant surgery, Brooke took time to find the perfect destination for her travel wish!
Brooke was an active and healthy kid who loved swimming and water polo until, at 17, a virus spread to her heart causing heart failure. Within months she was undergoing a heart transplant. The world of hospital stays, organ rejection scares, and having to leave her school (and friends) to be homeschooled, was a very different world from the carefree teenage one she had known before the virus.
When Brooke was told she qualified for a wish, she had only had her transplant surgery weeks before. She knew she wanted to travel to an international destination, and while recovering, took the time to find the perfect destination…The Baths in Virgin Gorda. She’s always loved the water, but was unable to swim while waiting for her transplant, so a beach destination was a priority! Not only did she fall in love with the clear, azure water and the natural rock formations (batholiths), but she knew with the activities available and the perfect climate that this was just the spot for her family to spend time together relaxing and recovering from all they’d been through. Brooke’s mom, Julie, said, “The trip was a dream come true for us all. The rooms overlooked the white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, and there were hammocks on the balcony, which Brooke just loves! It was so nice to see Brooke smiling, relaxing and enjoying herself.
The nights were amazing! The skies were so clear and full of stars. We were able to see many shooting stars and that was magical! On many occasions, our family was able to Kayak, and snorkel together. The water was so clear and the reefs were so fun to explore. To finally see the Batholiths that Brooke had her heart set on, was truly AMAZING! We spent hours there exploring the caves and beaches, and snorkeling. It's difficult to describe what a beautiful place the British Virgin Islands are, from its people to its destination. We all hope that we can return one day, but if not, we can say that we have experienced spending time in one of the most beautiful places on this earth!” Impact: “After almost losing our daughter to heart failure, watching her endure so much, but coming out on top with a heart transplant and recovering...we can't tell you how much this means to us all. Thank you so very much Make-A-Wish! We have truly been blessed....”