26/09/11 – Fourteen year old Texas Bishop from Redditch has had his dearest wish to travel to America to thank the doctor who saved his life granted by Starlight Children’s Foundation, the UK’s leading wish granting charity for children with serious and terminal illnesses.
Texas was born prematurely and, as a result, he suffers from a number of medical difficulties, including cerebral palsy in his legs. At just four months of age he required major heart surgery and, due to the severity of his condition, he was not expected to live beyond the age of six months. When he was born and while he waited for a date for his heart operation, Texas was looked after by a doctor called Dr Christian Slabbert, who was responsible for reviving him on a number of occasions and for helping his family to cope during his treatment.
When he was referred to Starlight for a once-in-a-lifetime wish, brave Texas, who is in the army cadets and wishes to join the army when he leaves school, knew exactly what to ask for. Dr Slabbert, who is now practicing in America, was named as Texas’ godfather when he was an infant and, although they keep in touch, Texas has always wanted to visit him in the US. Texas’ mum, Heather, who used to phone the doctor when she didn’t understand certain medical terms that were being used by specialists to explain Texas’ condition, said, “It would mean the world to Texas to tell Dr Slabbert in person how grateful he is for saving his life on many occasions.”
Texas said, “Although he is my godfather, he has not seen me since I was six months old and I would love to walk in to the hospital without him knowing I am coming and say, “Thank you Chris”. With the help of Texas’ mum Heather and Dr Slabbert’s wife Renee, Starlight arranged the trip without either Texas or Dr Slabbert knowing so that it would be a complete surprise for them both!
On the morning that they were due to fly, Texas was woken by Heather and was told that he was going to board a plane to America in a few hours; Texas’ wish was going to be granted – and he was bubbling over with excitement! When the time came for Texas to surprise Dr Slabbert, it was incredibly emotional and afterwards Heather told Starlight, “I’m glad that we kept it a secret from Chris and Texas – it was truly a special once-in-a-lifetime moment.”
Texas and Heather stayed in the US and stayed with Dr Slabbert and his family for a week and, while enjoying spending time with them, Texas was able to visit lots of amazing local attractions, including a local airforce base where he was given lots of goodies as a reminder of his visit.
When they arrived home, Heather said, “Words cannot express what I want to say – the wish was so special. Thank you for making Texas’ dream come true.”
Texas said, “Thank you for letting me see my hero Dr Chris Slabbert. It was lovely and I had a great time – I didn’t want to come home!”
Contact: Henny Breakwell
Tel: 020 7262 2881 #231
Starlight grants once-in-a-lifetime wishes for seriously and terminally ill children, restoring the magic and fun of childhood and giving the whole family happy memories to share, whatever the future holds.
Starlight also creates entertainment in every hospital and hospice throughout the UK. Sick children go to Starlight parties, laugh their way through pantomimes, go out on Starlight Escapes, play games and watch films on the Starlight Fun Centre, and enjoy the toys and puzzles of the Starlight Distraction Box. Happy children respond better to treatment and Starlight helps children to forget about their illness and simply have a bit of fun.
You can make a donation online or by calling us on 020 7262 2881. For every £1 you donate, Starlight can assure you that over 91p goes towards helping very ill children. To refer a child for a wish, simply complete our wish referral form.