FALKVILLE, AL (WAFF) - 11-year-old Emma Lee looks like a healthy, active little girl. But her mom, Dana Lee, said when she was born there were major concerns about three congenital heart defects.
"They diagnosed her in UAB. She has transposition of the great vessels, pulmonary stenosis, and BSD which is a hole in between the ventricles of the heart," Dana said.
There were three surgeries. The first two were for shunts. Dana says open heart surgery followed when her daughter was 2 and a half years old. "A conduit here. It connects the ventricle to the pulmonary artery. The put a patch here in between the BSD and this bypassed her pulmonary stenosis."
All the heart problems left her as a very sick little girl who qualified for the Make-A-Wish program and some royal treatment. Dana says Emma chose Orlando sites. "We went to Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Universal, both the Universal Parks, Sea World." "It was a blessing... To be able to sit back and watch her light up when she saw Cinderella's Castle."
Emma says this was a special birthday. "Getting to dress up as Merida....on my birthday."
She still lights up with more memories.... "There's this ride at Universal....and the first part...it went straight up. And my dad hated it. It had tons of loops."
The family had 7 days to cram everything in.
"It's just a blessing cause i didn't know if I was going to have those days", says Dana.
Memories made more special because they could fly in a couple of hours and not waste 2 days traveling by car, thanks to Make a Wish and Wishes in Flight.