With his father’s steady hands resting on his shoulders, Joshua lounges in the water tube. After a nod from the lifeguard, his father pushes their tube off the dock. They glide down the ride, twisting and turning through the tunnel, bouncing up and down as water splashes up. Emerging at the bottom, Joshua is giddy with delight.
Now 11, Joshua was diagnosed at a young age with a life-threatening genetic disorder that causes many medical issues, including seizures. His mom, Amy, describes him as a “super-happy, lovable boy who can melt anyone’s heart…He loves to go to school and see his friends and teachers, to be in the water, and to listen to music and look at books.” Joshua’s family is intensely dedicated to seeing him through his never-ending doctor visits and treatments, and coordinating support services for him.
While they would never want to be anywhere other than Joshua’s side, it can be difficult for everyone in the family―including Joshua―to step back and breathe. Joshua’s wish trip to Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas offered them an opportunity to finally pause. “Sometimes I think we get caught up in all of his needs and appointments, we forget to do the fun things,” says Amy. “Joshua’s wish was important to show him he deserves to have fun.”
“He loved that every day, we could go to a different pool or beach where he could sit and splash, get sprayed, and go under waterfalls. What was amazing was how happy and relaxed he was. He loved every minute of it.”
“Being together and being able to enjoy one another in such an amazing place… It opened our eyes to realize that life is truly short and the extra effort involved in travel is worth the lifelong memories you create on a trip.”
Now, running between appointments feels more like background noise when compared to the snuggles and laughs shared in short yet sweet moments of daily life. “Joshua’s wish trip has clearly brought us closer together as a family.”