Paeyton Pearson couldn’t be happier to be able to go outside on the deck with his family.
He can’t tell you verbally but you can see the joy when you look at his face.
A few months ago this wasn’t the case, Paeyton was not able to go outside on his own without someone helping him open the sliding glass door and maneuver down the three stairs to the patio below.
All that has changed, Paeyton can now scoot his way outside where he can enjoy the deck and the families’ new hot tub.
With the help of Make A Wish, family and friends and local community members, the Pearsons were able to make the outdoors more accessible for Paeyton.
Paeyton’s mom, Cassie, said he sometimes will wake up in the middle of the night and make his way to the deck. The incentive of being able to go outside has helped him learn how to open doors, she added.
Paeyton was born with a genetic condition called 1P36 Deletion Syndrome.
Cassie said 17 years ago when he was born not much was known about his condition.
Since then, she added, a number of studies have been done and roughly 1 in 10,000 people are affected by 1P36.
1P36 is usually a random event where genetic material on chromosome 1 are lost.
According to Opening Autism’s website, the severity of associated conditions range from person to person. They can include structural abnormalities of the brain, seizures, low muscle tone, vision and hearing problems as well as other medical, physical and developmental conditions.
Paeyton is unable to walk and communicates with others using sign language.
Cassie said she got the idea of applying to Make A Wish from friends who had done so. And Paeyton just made the cut, wishes are only granted to children ages 2 to 17.
At the time of applying, she was unsure of what the wish would be. Then they started noticing Paeyton loved the idea of being outside.
Cassie said her parent’s had recently remodeled their home and added a deck that was accessible for Paeyton. She said anytime they were over, he would be out on the deck rain or shine.
Once Cassie found out Paeyton was eligible for a wish to be granted, she said she sat down with Paeyton to discuss what he’d want his wish to be.
Within Make A Wish, there are five different wishes that can be granted. You can Wish To Be, Wish To Meet, Wish To Go, Wish To Have and Wish To Give.
For the Pearson’s they decided Paeyton’s wish was to have a hot tub surrounded by a deck that he can easily get himself around.
The idea of the hot tub is helpful to his condition, he is able to work on his therapy at home.
Cassie said they are able to work on his balance, he can stretch his legs and he is able to reach for things all while in the hot tub.
A special aspect of the Pearson’s new spa is MicroSilk.
This creates micro bubbles that sooth the body. There are a number of benefits to having this technology and Cassie said it has helped Paeyton’s moods and has also helped him sleep better at night.
Paeyton as well as one of his sisters has Eczema and Cassie said the MicroSilk in the spa has helped both of them with their skin condition.
When Paeyton scoots around and sits on the floor, Cassie said it is hard to always be on the same level as him and even so when he is sitting in a chair and they are standing.
But the hot tub has allowed Paeyton to be on the same level as his parents and his five younger siblings.
Cassie said she didn’t anticipate that aspect when they first asked for the hot tub.
“It’s the neatest thing,” Cassie said. “Now we are all on the same level. There is a connection of face time.”
Make A Wish works with about a $5,000 budget per wish. For the Pearsons that paid for the hot tub.
Through word of mouth and community donations, they were able to get a new door that is easier for Paeyton to open as well as a new deck with railing.
After the work was completed, the Pearson’s hosted a party. Paeyton had friends come over from school and they were able to enjoy the hot tub together.
“It was nice to see him socializing,” Make A Wish volunteer Dianna Whitley said.
Paeyton is a senior at White River High School. And through a program at the school, Cassie said he will be able to attend until he is 21 years old.
The program provides speech and cognitive therapy for Paeyton.
And after this year, Cassie said, he will be able to start working. The program provides half day of school and half day of working so those in the program can make a transition into the working world.
Cassie said it is unknown what Paeyton’s job will entail but she said he loves to be read to and the idea of him going to elementary schools and having kids read to him is a possibility.
Paeyton’s wish would not have been possible without his Make A Wish volunteers Dianna Whitley, Collette Meyer and Julie Spencer.
A number of community members also helped grant his wish.
Marquis Spas provided the spa with MicroSilk that was delivered and installed by Aqua Rec’s.
Arrow Lumber and BMC West Corporation provided material for the deck.
Zetterberg Quality Homes designed and installed the deck along with the railing from Pro Rail.
Beddow Electric sent Todd Fleming to help with electric work in setting up the spa.
Safeway and Ben Franklin’s donations helped with decorations for the party. And Haggen donated the cake. Westside Pizza donated pizzas for the party.
And family and friends of the Pearson’s also helped by donating.