"We're often told to follow our hearts: For Jordyn, her heart took her to Hawaii," read a happy news release from Make-A-Wish Wyoming:

Since her birth, Jordyn’s parents have had to push through difficult news, face incredible challenges, and remain positive for their daughter.

Jordyn was born with a heart condition that required open-heart surgeries as a baby. After being briefly held as a newborn, she was quickly rushed to the NICU for her first open-heart surgery just three days after birth.

This first surgery consisted of reconstructing her heart to function with only a single half of her heart. After this, Jordyn again had two more open-heart surgeries at three months and four years old.

“We’ve put so many things on hold for so long, but we’ve come to understand you just can’t do that. In life, everything can change at any time, so you have to just keep living,” says Jordyn’s mom, Jonie.

As a Wyoming family, Jordyn’s family likes to hike, camp, and take part in other outdoor activities, which became increasingly harder for Jordyn and her heart.

She and her family have experienced several ups and downs that prevented them from getting outside and enjoying the activities they love to do as a family.

Jordyn and her family in Hawaii. Photo from Make-A-Wish Wyoming.
Jordyn and her family in Hawaii. Photo from Make-A-Wish Wyoming.
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Eventually, potential heart failure became evident, so Jordyn’s family began the search for a heart transplant. In 2022, the family received news that Jordyn was a good candidate for a transplant and was placed on the transplant list.

“It was Christmas Eve and Jordyn said, ‘all I want for Christmas is a heart.’ And then we got a call that night saying there was a possible transplant. We were thrilled and waited for the word to go down but were quickly shocked to learn the transplant was actually not going to be a great match. However, a month later, while at the Children’s Hospital trying new medications, I stepped out of the room for just a minute. When I came back, Jordyn and her dad were on the floor crying. The doctor had come in and said they found another match, and that this is the one,” said Jonie.

In 2022 Jordyn had a successful heart transplant, which has been lifesaving, but not an entirely smooth process. A transplant comes with its own set of challenges including signs of infection that Jordyn began to show. Though, with some extra treatment and quick action from her doctors, Jordyn and her family were able head home to return to somewhat normal life and activities – including dreaming up her wish for Make-A-Wish Wyoming to grant.

When it came time to decide, Hawaii was the obvious choice for Jordyn. As a beach and ocean lover, she has had Hawaii on her mind for quite some time. From countless hospital stays and doctors’ visits, to living in Denver for months on end, Jordyn and her family were eager for this trip to become a reality.

Jordyn and her family in Hawaii. Make-A-Wish Wyoming.
Jordyn and her family in Hawaii. Make-A-Wish Wyoming.
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Jordyn and her family returned from their Hawaiian trip with countless unforgettable memories made. From a special shoutout from their pilot on the flight over, to meeting and hearing other wish stories from people on their trip, Jordyn felt love and support in every direction. Jordyn’s highlight from the trip was swimming with the dolphins and picking out pearls with her family from oysters, which were made into pearl necklaces right before their eyes.

Their trip also consisted of snorkeling, a luau, visiting a national park, swimming in the ocean, hiking the coastline, and relaxing on the beach. Jordyn and her siblings loved seeing all the wild chickens and watching a local feed them each morning. As a family who also regularly makes their own version of Loko Moko, a popular Hawaiian cuisine, they tasted and ate several versions of it while on the island, now a favorite family memory from the trip.

“This trip was like a deep breath. It was an amazing break for our family that provided a light at the end of this long tunnel. With everything that’s happened in the last year, this experience was a reminder that we can still enjoy opportunities like this as a family,” said Jonie.

Jordyn with her family. Photo from Make-A-Wish Wyoming.
Jordyn with her family. Photo from Make-A-Wish Wyoming.
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