Group makes child’s wish come true

Published 12:55 am Friday, November 16, 2007

NATCHEZ — Since her birth just six years ago, Olivia David has been plagued with a myriad of health problems.

Her mother, Monica David, said that Olivia requires constant attention and care.

But life for Olivia is about to get a little better.

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Olivia’s family was recently chosen by the Make a Wish Foundation to go to Disney World.

“I think she’s (Olivia) going to love it,” Monica said.

At barely 1-year-old, Olivia was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and later with epilepsy.

Monica said that with the epilepsy comes gran mal seizures that ultimately cause her daughter the most suffering.

Monica said that one such seizure lasted over 20 minutes and stopped Olivia’s breathing and nearly ended her life when she was only 3.

Olivia and her mother were already at the hospital when she had the near life-ending seizure.

“When I looked over at her I could see she was turning gray,” she said.

Monica said the hospital room was immediately filled with doctors who were trying to save Olivia’s life.

“It was a nightmare,” she said.

And while Olivia has since recovered from that episode, she may never recover from the many ailments she suffers from, Monica said.

And exactly what happened to make Olivia so ill is a mystery to her parents and doctors.

Monica said when she was just 6-weeks pregnant she had a sever allergic reaction to a dose of prenatal vitamins.

“I was completely covered in hives and my skin was crawling,” she said.

To counter the allergic reaction Monica was given two doses of Decadron.

She said after she received the Decadron, things got worse.

After fading in and out of consciousness and spending three days in an intensive care unit Monica finally recovered.

Monica said she suspects the drugs and their side effects had something to do with Olivia’s present condition.

However, she also said that three months of heavy bleeding caused by a small tear in her placenta or the fact that Olivia had to be repositioned in her womb may have also contributed to her problems.

“It’s strange because my first pregnancy was normal,” she said of her now 9-year-old daughter Brooke.

And now Olivia and her family will get some normalcy restored to their lives when the go to Disney World in March.

Monica said after a chance meeting with another child who had gone through the foundation, she decided to apply for Olivia.

Foundation wish granter Jackie Dunaway said Olivia is an excellent candidate for the program.

Dunaway said since Olivia suffers seizures so frequently, her likelihood of slipping into a life-threatening comma is fairly high.

“While she still can, we want her to enjoy time with her family,” she said. “She has no guarantee of tomorrow.”