MONTAGUE (KFDX/KJTL) — More than 15,600 people each year are granted their wishes by the Make-A-Wish foundation, according to their website.
This year one of those wishes was granted to someone right in our backyard.
In 2013, Charlie Hamilton gave birth to a six-pound, six-ounce baby boy named Cole.
“Cole was born early by 35 weeks,” Charlie said. “So, he should have been fine.”
When he was born, he wasn’t fine. So, he stayed in the NICU where he was put on a breathing machine. After being discharged a couple of weeks later, Charlie knew something still wasn’t right.
“He cried and cried and cried which is sometimes normal for a baby but it was a lot of crying,” Charlie said. “Then we figured out he was having seizures when he was not sleeping at night.”
After going to the pediatrician for their two-month visit, things got even worse.
“Our pediatrician was like, ‘okay he’s not following,’ because they do all of those checks so he wasn’t following with his eyes which is initially why we did an ultrasound of his brain,” Charlie said. “While we were there, they rushed out and they were like you guys can’t leave so we knew something was wrong but we just didn’t know what.”
That’s when they received the devastating news.
“We did an MRI and it confirmed he had a stroke,” Charlie said.
After receiving that diagnosis, the road to recovery would be a long and difficult one.
“Since he was born we’ve been in and out of the hospital,” Charlie said. “His stroke caused him to have other issues which we don’t know if that’s what caused the stroke or if the stroke caused these other issues. He has high blood pressure, he takes four medications daily for that, he has kidney issues, heart issues, lung issues so not only did he have a stroke now he’s literally being followed by lots of doctors.”
Through all of that, Cole and Charlie have remained strong. Then just last week came the surprise of a lifetime.
“Well, Cole Pittman your wish has been granted by the Make-A-Wish foundation,” a principal for Montague ISD said. “You are going to go to Disney World in three weeks!”
“First of all, I didn’t even know that Mickey Mouse was coming,” Cole said. “So when he arrived and I was wondering why he was calling my name, and then when he told our principal something and then they called me down and I was like scared for a second but happy scared.”
Thanks to an anonymous nominator, for the first time, Cole is getting to go to Disney World and there are a couple of characters he’s looking forward to seeing the most.
“Woody and Buzz,” Cole said.
Having a stroke as a newborn is rare, in fact, according to Johns Hopkins, it happens to one in every 4,000 newborns. So, if you or someone you know is going through something like this, Charlie has advice for the parents.
“I would just say to never give up and know that each day is probably in some way going to be a struggle but you can get through it,” Charlie said.
As for the kids that are going through this, Cole has advice for you as well.
“I would tell them to be brave,” Cole said.
Cole was told he would never walk or talk again but he’s running and talking just fine. Now, Cole and his family leave for Disney World on Nov. 10, 2022, before coming back on Nov. 15, 2022.