Although she may not look like it, Zoe Kerly is a very sick little girl. At the young age of 10, Zoe is fighting a battle with pulmonary hypertension, a disease that only affects 1 in every 10 million children.
“Some days you can look at her and it’s just impossible to believe that she’s sick,” Star Kerly, Zoe’s mother told Region 8 News.
Sadly, the only cure for this terrible disease is to undergo a double lung and heart transplant, which is something that no child should have to endure. According to doctors, the average life expectancy, for a child suffering from pulmonary hypertension, is approximately five years. Thankfully, Zoe has already exceeded doctor’s expectations.
Average life span after diagnosis is five years. We’re going for more than that.
Star explains that Zoe was a perfectly healthy child until she was diagnosed. “The summer right before she was diagnosed she learned how to ski. She was fine all summer long, y’know,” Star said. “There was no signs that there was anything wrong.”
Later that year, during one of Zoe’s soccer games, she started experiencing her first symptoms. Zoe was very short of breath, and her oxygen levels were low.
She just could not keep up. And that’s how a lot of these kids start. It’s so benign to start with but it’s so serious if you’re not listening or if you get a doctor who’s not listening.
Because Zoe’s disorder was found quickly, doctors were able to start her on medication. Zoe currently takes two pills in the morning, two in the afternoon, and then three at night. “The next step is probably an IV that feeds straight into the heart,” Star explained.
Since Zoe’s prognosis is not good, Zoe decided to make a wish to the Make a Wish Foundation. Zoe didn’t ask for a trip to Disney World, or any of the other common things that a 10-year-old girl would ask for. Instead, she asked to have a Duck Dynasty room makeover, and on Thursday Zoe’s wish came true.
Zoe’s entire family waited in anticipation as the finishing touches were done to her room. When Zoe walked in the house she was greeted by a pre-recorded message from Justin Martin telling her what she was about to find upstairs.
Hey Zoe, on behalf of the whole Duck Commander Crew, your wish has been granted. Congratulations!
Not only was her room full of orange and green camo, she also received a signed hat from the entire Duck Commander crew. “This is her Make-A-Wish,” Star said of Zoe’s reaction, “but it affects all of us who have loved and watched her go through this. We get to watch just happiness.”
To watch the video of Zoe’s reaction click here.
[Image via kptv.com]