Two years ago, Brett Wallick was at Phoenix Children’s Hospital hoping for a heart transplant. On Tuesday, Brett spent his day hanging out with Angels star Mike Trout, thanks to Make-A-Wish Arizona.
“You’ve got to make every day count,” says Brett, the manager on his Sunrise High School baseball team.
In December 2013, Brett started feeling tightness in his chest. His heart had swelled to twice its normal size. Doctors at Phoenix Children’s Hospital implanted a left ventricular assist device. His life would never be the same.
On March 23, 2014 Brett received word that a donor heart had become available. He and his father Scott arrived at the hospital right as the heart was being brought through the door.
“It was scary,” says Scott Wallick, an Air Force veteran who spent time in Baghdad. “I thank God every day he’s here.”
After receiving the transplant, Brett received a letter from the donor family. The donor, a young father, had been a big baseball fan. Brett hadn’t been much of one before the transplant. For a reason he can’t explain, he now loves the game.
After meeting Mike Trout and his Angels teammates, Brett threw out the first pitch. Finally, there one more special moment. Angels Manager Mike Scioscia asked Brett to watch the game from the dugout.
This was the 5,000th wish granted by Make-A-Wish Arizona.
This story was originally published by KPHO in Phoenix, and was distributed by the CNN Wire.