NORTH KINGSTOWN – In August, Treyvon Robinson, a soon-to-be three-year-old who has multiple congenital heart defects, received a wish from the Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island that will allow him to travel around the country with his family and meet other kids with similar conditions.
Treyvon’s mother, Kayla Robinson, said that he was given a camper trailer, decked out with a bed, kitchenette, living room and bathroom. Kayla explained that she and the rest of her family have met several people online who have children with heart conditions, and that Treyvon has been itching to meet them.
In May, Kayla referred Treyvon’s medical condition and history to the Massachusetts and Rhode Island branch of the Make-A-Wish, requesting the camper trailer as Treyvon’s wish. And not long after, the family received their wish, which Kayla said was “very exciting.”
“We were very overwhelmed with joy, it was such a great thing to receive,” she said.
And now, with the camper trailer in tow, they’ll be able to travel safely to other states, in their own mobile living space, and meet some of their online friends in-person.
“We have lots of different families that we want to meet in person, who I’ve met online but haven’t met in person,” Robinson said.
While some of their trips might be delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kayla said the camper trailer allows for much easier travel in the future.
“We plan on going to different states to meet other heart families, obviously after COVID,” she said. “It just gives us a different option for him to be traveling and not go into hotels and all that.”
When Treyvon was just five days old, he was diagnosed with multiple heart conditions, which Kayla said resulted in Treyvon having a single ventricle, a defect in which one lower chamber does not develop, resulting in the heart having only one pumping chamber.
“He had his first open heart surgery at seven days old, his second open heart surgery at three months old, and his most recent third open heart surgery was this past November,” Kayla said. “He still has other medical things, like cardiac catheterizations.”
“It’s been stressful and overwhelming, but Treyvon’s remained to be very happy, so that makes it a little easier on us, that he’s just so happy with life,” she continued. “It’s been tough. He was diagnosed at five days old, so it was a complete shock. He went home and then had to go right to Boston Children’s Hospital and have surgery two days later.”
However, Kayla added that Treyvon’s cardiologist said he’s been clear for a full year, a milestone for her son.
“It’s a very big thing, he’s never gone that long,” she said.
While the camper trailer hasn’t yet been registered, and therefore hasn’t been taken on the road, Kayla said that Treyvon, who was also recently diagnosed with autism, was thrilled at the wish he received.
“He loves it, but Treyvon also has autism that he was diagnosed with this year, so he’s nonverbal,” she said. “But he’s very excited. He likes to go out to the trailer every day, run back and forth and sit in the bunk bed. He loves it.”
Kayla added that Trevyon’s condition, and everything he’s gone through, has been extremely difficult, making her that much more grateful for the wish.
“With everything he’s gone through, I felt very blessed that we had the opportunity to receive a wish for him,” she said.
Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island is a nonprofit organization that helps to fulfill the wishes of children with a critical illness between the ages of two and a half and 18 years old. All children who are medically eligible receive a wish from the foundation.
The nonprofit's Rhode Island Regional Director, Michael Vieira, said that the camper trailer was a “beautiful gift” that will allow the Robinson family to take vacations and visit members of the online heart health community.
“They can hopefully take some family vacations and camping trips and spend some time together,” Vieira said. “I know that Treyvon and Kayla are very active members of the heart health community on Facebook that they use to connect to other families that are dealing with the same circumstances. Their hope is that they can use the camper trailer to connect with those families.”
“Certainly I think it’s a really beautiful wish and a really beautiful purpose that it serves for them,” he said, adding that Make-A-Wish is always seeking to grant wishes that represent something bigger than the gift itself.
“I know the camper trailer represents an opportunity to spend time together as a family and connect with other people who are going through what for many of us are unimaginable circumstances,” he said. “When you think of the fight that Treyvon is in, it’s an opportunity to connect with families who are in the same circumstances.”
Vieira also said that, while many of the travel-based requests have been put on hold, the foundation is still able to grant several wishes, such as campers, puppies, computers and room makeovers, all things that make life in the COVID-19 pandemic a “little brighter.”.
“We’re all spending a little more time at home now, and you think of so many of the children who are immunocompromised and so spending even more time in their homes,” he said. “We are thrilled that our wishes can create an opportunity for them to make home a little brighter.”
“That is certainly the category of wish I think Treyvon’s in, and so many others that are moving forward right now,” he added.