Dream come true: Make-A-Wish sends Poplarville family to Disney for dream vacation

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 24, 2017

Charlotte Hall may seem like every other 6-year-old girl running around the playground at Poplarville Lower Elementary, but underneath her shining smile lays a genetic disorder that puts her in the hospital for weeks at a time.

Charlotte has cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that affects her lungs and digestive system.

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She was diagnosed just a week after she was born and now has cystic fibrosis-related diabetes and was diagnosed with failure to thrive, meaning she has poor growth, her mother Amanda Hall said.

Charlotte has to take four breathing treatments on a normal day, is connected to a feeding tube at night and is on six medications that help her with her weight, digestion and control the fluid that fills her lungs.

Thankfully, Amanda Hall said, the school nurse helps administer her medications during school hours.

Even with a decreased appetite, Charlotte said she loves food, especially pizza.

Before every meal, she has to take Creon’s, which help her digest her food so she can maintain a healthy weight.

Inhalers are also constantly on hand.

Even a simple cold can put her in the hospital in Jackson for a minimum of two weeks, Amanda Hall said.

Because of that, Charlotte often misses a lot of school and can spend upwards of four weeks per year in the hospital, she said.

Amanda Hall said she works three jobs just to keep up with the medical and travel bills, in addition to the 95 hours her husband Harvey Hall works each pay period to provide for the family.

But the Hall family got a small break from reality last month, a trip to Disney World funded by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Charlotte, her older sister Kaitlyn and their parents spent a week at the Give Kids the World Village making her dreams come true.

“Seeing her face light up at every little thing,” made the trip more than special, Amanda Hall said.

Yet what excited Charlotte most about her trip was not meeting a prince or princess, but meeting Goofy.

Eventually, Charlotte will have to undergo a double-lung transplant in order to extend her life, Amanda Hall said.

“A lot of people don’t realize it’s not curable, it is terminal,” she said.

When people read online the median age for life is 35 years, the reality is many patients don’t survive that long, Amanda Hall said. 

Despite her cheery appearance, on the inside, Charlotte’s body is very sick, she said.

Essentially, Charlotte is drowning from the inside, she said.

Her mom said she can tell when Charlotte has pain in her lungs and chest.

Charlotte’s stomach also causes a lot of problems, but without the medicine, it’s 10 times worse, Amanda Hall said.

Despite everything, the family was thankful for the opportunity to give Charlotte something she’s always wanted.

About Julia Arenstam

Staff Writer

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