‘Hurricane Hannah’ finally has her wish

Make-A-Wish Australia, with the support of Blooms The Chemist and Destination NSW, grant Hannah her wish to attend Vivid Sydney. 

Melbourne-based Hannah (or ‘Hurricane Hannah’ as she is affectionately known), her parents, and her sister Willow were treated to a VIP experience at Vivid Sydney on 16 June.

“Vivid Sydney is much more than an amazing light show. It is a celebration of Sydney and Australia,” says Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade and Tourism Stuart Ayres.

“For Hannah and her family to finally be able to enjoy the festival in person is testament to the important role Make-A-Wish Australia and its partners play in granting these important wishes for sick children across the country.”

‘The most magical evening’

Hannah and her entire family participated in an immersive two-hour personalised tour of the festival, including the extra special surprise for Hannah to switch on Darling Harbour’s Sydney Infinity – the largest liquid and light show ever seen in Australia.

Hannah’s wish was finally granted after more than two years’ delay due to Covid-19.

Eight-year-old Hannah was diagnosed at birth with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which means the left side of her heart didn’t form.

This required three open-heart surgeries in her first year and 155 days in the hospital before she was able to go home.

Aged five, she was diagnosed with the rare Ayme-Gripp syndrome, which means Hannah cannot hear or speak, is vision-impaired and has an intellectual disability.

“Hannah loves anything with lights,” says Hannah’s mum, Emma.

“Hannah has always been drawn to sensory rooms at any place we’ve visited. It has been our long-time wish to attend Vivid Sydney as we knew she’d love the visual experience and at last, that wish has come true.

“We had the most magical evening, and we cannot thank enough Make-A-Wish Australia, Blooms The Chemist and Destination NSW for making it happen,” she says.

Describing the experience, Hannah’s dad, Richard says it brought her so much joy and happiness and was a great surprise.

“Despite her health challenges, she’s a bright and bubbly child and loved the night when Make-A-Wish brought a light experience to our house last year, which was such a magical moment for her and our family and friends,” he says.

“To now add to that a trip to Sydney to experience the scale of Vivid, we cannot thank enough everyone involved for their support in making this wish come true for Hannah, and us as a family.”

Make-A-Wish back up and running 

Make-A-Wish CEO, Sally Bateman says that following the Covid-19 disruption the charity organisation is thrilled to have its wish program back up and running.

“We are incredibly grateful to have the support of amazing partners including Blooms The Chemist to bring unforgettable wishes like Hannah’s to life,” says Ms Bateman.

“Our aim is for the Wish Journey to leave a profound and lasting impact on children like Hannah, and inspire them to believe that anything is possible.”

Since the inception of its partnership, Blooms The Chemist has raised more than $1.2 million for Make-A-Wish Australia across its entire pharmacy network, ensuring wishes like Hannah’s are possible.

‘Support and connect the best we can’ 

Andrew Leslie, Pharmacist-owner at Blooms The Chemist Casey Central, the community pharmacy Hannah’s family use, heard her story he was desperate to support.

“The focus of our local chemist is to not only offer exceptional healthcare services to our customers but to support and connect with them the best we can,” says Mr Leslie.

“We’re delighted Hannah’s wish finally came true.”

For more information on the partnership between Blooms The Chemist and Make-A-Wish, visit bloomsthechemist.com.au/make-a-wish.

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