Wish Granted for Seven-year-old Boy

By: Erica Rakow Email
By: Erica Rakow Email

The Make A Wish Foundation, granting wishes of children with serious medical conditions, and Gulf World in Panama City Beach made a Mississippi child's wish come true Sunday.

The young boy and his family traveled to Bay County where he got to do something he thought he may never get the chance to do.. swim with dolphins.

Dustin Harrell has Osteogenesis Imperfecta type one. OI is a genetic disorder that's caused him to break nine bones in his seven years of life.

"We have been through a whole lot with him. Last year he spent the whole summer in a wheelchair because he was pretending to dance in front of the TV playing a guitar watching Cartoon Network and his left lower leg, his tibia and his fibula broke completely in two and went straight through the growth plate," said Dustin’s mother, Tammy Harrell.

This summer Dustin is wheelchair free and gulf world helped make his wish come true. Dustin's mother Tammy enrolled him in the make a wish foundation hoping her son would get to do something he's always dreamed of doing.

"Sometimes it's still hard on his father because that's his little boy. He'll never play football. He can't just get out and play and do with other kids so we home school him and he feels when we take him places he sees other kids playing and he feels like he's not whole. He'll tell me sometimes you know Mama, I just wish that I was like everybody else. I’m so tired of not being able to do," said Harrell.

Well Sunday, Dustin was able to do and it was certainly a happy day for him and his family.

Even though the dolphin encounter lasted less than an hour, Dustin’s memory of this event will last a lifetime.

"It really depresses him when he breaks a bone he'll tell me Mama, I’m so weird, and I’m so strange. So we were really hoping for this for him to give him a positive outlook on things," said Harrell.

We asked Dustin if he wanted to go back home and he said he's thought a lot about that but doesn't think he's ready just yet.


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