EVANSVILLE, Ind. — An Evansville teen’s dying wish was granted with the arrival of a bus at her house.

“When we walked outside our door and there was a humongous bus waiting for her, it was so awesome,” said Melissa Windell, whose daughter, Hannah, was the recipient of the Make-a-Wish Foundation wish.

“We did not expect that at all,” Windell said. “So that was very exciting.”

Saturday, the Make-a-Wish Foundation took Hannah West, 15, on a shopping spree at Toys “R” Us, followed by a party at Fred Meyer Jewelers, lunch at Steak ‘n Shake and a final shopping spree at Newburgh’s Walmart.

“She loves Walmart and Toys ‘R’ Us,” Windell said. “So, we collectively as a family discussed it with her, and she decided she wanted a shopping spree.”

Windell said she doesn’t know who nominated Hannah. The family received notice from the Make-a-Wish Foundation in August that she was selected to have a wish fulfilled.

The Make-a-Wish Foundation fulfills wishes for children with life-threatening conditions who are nominated by someone.

“We grant wishes to children with life-threatening conditions, not necessarily terminal,” said Kristina Rhodes, a volunteer with the foundation. “And we really want people to know that because I think there are a lot of kids in our community right here who could benefit from a wish, and we want to grant their wishes.”

Hannah was born with spina bifida and mosaic trisomy 13, a chromosomal disorder. Doctors said she wouldn’t survive infancy, Windell said.

“Every day is surprising, and just a miracle,” she said.

Last year, Hannah developed blood clots in her heart. She had open heart surgery to have the clots removed and went into cardiac arrest twice on the operating table, Windell said.

The teen was on a ventilator for about six months until doctors put in a tracheostomy.

Because of the tracheostomy, Windell thought it was better for Hannah’s wish to be fulfilled locally.

For the wish, Hannah received a $2,500 gift card from the foundation to spend at Toys “R” Us and Walmart. The foundation also provided lunch. Other area businesses also gave Hannah gifts.

“It’s so exciting,” Windell said. “It’s really awesome to give her this special day.”

Source: Evansville Courier & Press, http://bit.ly/2oUYq4O

Information from: Evansville Courier & Press, http://www.courierpress.com

This is an AP-Indiana Exchange story offered by the Evansville Courier & Press.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.