MACON, Ga. — A common Disney slogan is ‘a dream is a wish your heart makes’, and this story comes straight from the heart.
Nine-year-old Jonas Seabrooks was diagnosed with a bacterial infection at birth.
Jonas is a twin and the oldest of four boys.
“Jonas and Josiah are nine, Jacob is six, and Joshua– he’s four,” Kim Seabrooks, the boy's mother, said.
Seabrooks says Jonas and his twin brother had a rough start in life.
"They were born premature babies,” she said. “They were gonna keep him in the ICU for a couple of days just so their lungs could develop a little bit more."
Three days later, Jonas's health took a turn for the worse.
"They told us pretty much his gut is dead and we need to cut it out, or he is going to die,” Seabrooks said.
Jonas was diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis, or short gut syndrome. It’s a bacterial infection of the intestines in premature babies. Seabrooks says doctors told her and her husband that Jonas had a 50% chance of surviving.
"It cost him half of his small intestine,” Seabrooks said. “Now, the small intestine is where we kind of absorb all of our nutrients, and that’s where we grow.”
Jonas had to wear a colostomy bag as an infant. Now, as a nine-year old, Jonas has chronic anemia that requires blood transfusions, developed rheumatoid arthritis, and can't absorb nutrients, or digest sugar like other kids can. Seabrooks says he must watch his diet and is prone to throwing up.
His twin is double the weight Jonas.
"It makes me feel a little sad,” Jonas said. “I do not like getting IV's because they hurt painfully.”
Phylise Davis, Seabrook's friend for a decade, knows what the family has been through.
"She had explained to me that Jonas was just screaming from being in agony from getting an IV,” Davis said. “She always puts her children first. One goes to work, while the other one comes home and watches the kids. Then they switch, and the other one goes to work all night. It was something that I had to share."
Davis sent their story to the Georgia Make-a-Wish Foundation. The foundation sent the Seabrooks family to a Disney resort in Hawaii.
"In two weeks, we got your guy's plane tickets,” Seabrooks said. “You guys are going to Hawaii!”
Jonas picked it as his ultimate dream destination.
"It was great! I liked seeing Mickey Mouse,” he said.
"I can remember sitting in the hospital and him saying, ‘Mom, I'm tired'. He's had a really rough ride and our time in Hawaii was a Godsend trip because he enjoyed his little heart so much. He enjoyed his little heart so much seeing all the Disney characters, the food and the pool,” Seabrooks said. “I can tell he really appreciated it. It was more than a dream come true."
Seabrooks says this was their four boys' first time on an airplane and they're already ready to go on the next trip.