DECATUR, Ala. – There’s less than a month left in summer, and one Decatur family hopes their son will see his wish granted before the weather turns cooler.
In his four years of life, Jordan Simmers and his family have been through more than most can even imagine. “He has hearing loss,” says Karrie Simmers, Jordan’s Mom. “Vision loss, stunted growth…he’s got a feeding tube. He’s had it since he was 11 months old. Over the summer he was officially diagnosed with moderate autism and global development delays.”
It began at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children where Jordan was born 6 weeks early and spent 42 days in the NICU.
“During that time, they found some oddities in his bloodwork,” remembers Simmers. “They said, we’re just going to run this one test, I’m sure that’s not what it is.”
But it was. 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, so called because a segment of chromosome 22 is missing. The diagnosis brought the ongoing search for specialists.
“We’ve been to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. We’ve been to Vanderbilt. We’ve been to UAB,” says Simmers.
Jordan may not speak, but he can make his wishes known. He tugs on his parents’ fingers when he wants to go out and play. They made the discovery during one of Jordan’s many hospital stays. “The nurse that we had got him one of those little plastic bins and put it in the shower and just let him splash and that was probably the happiest over those two weeks I had ever seen him,” said Simmers.
He’s also been to the lake, the water park and different pools.
Ten months ago, Karrie Simmers applied with Make-A-Wish Alabama hoping he might receive an above ground pool of his own.
“Even with the COVID situation and everything being on hold right now, they’ve done everything they can to make sure this has gone smoothly,” Simmers praises.
In the time he’s been on the wait list, Jordan taught himself to swim. In the water, there’s no holding him back! “It just gives him this outlet to have fun and be, for lack of a better term, a normal kid for a little while,” says Simmers. “It brings a smile to his face every time.”
That’s where you come in. Join News 19 Monday afternoon. We’ll share the number to call to donate during our virtual telethon with Make-A-Wish Alabama. It will be going on from 4:00-7:00 p.m.
We’re helping to raise money for some 275 Alabama children, just like Jordan, who are still on the wait list.
You can also donate by test. Just text “WISHES” to 243725. You’ll receive a reply with a link to donate securely online. Or you can make a secure online donation by clicking here.