Make-A-Wish boy from Archdale lives out dream of becoming rescue swimmer with NC Coast Guard

ARCHDALE, N.C. — A second grader at Archdale Elementary now has renewed hope and strength in his battle with a life-threatening heart condition.

Seven-year-old Isaac Simmons has had three surgeries and three strokes and has spent quite a bit of time in the hospital. It was there, in his hospital room, watching helicopters take off and land, he decided he would love to one day become a Coast Guard rescue pilot.

Now, Isaac is the Coast Guard’s newest honorary rescue pilot, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Coast Guard members in Elizabeth City. He is just back from a weekend he’ll never forget and shared all the details in show and tell in class this morning.

It wasn’t just a quick meet and greet with the Coast Guard pilots. The Coast Guard went all out. Isaac was a big deal — the honorary co-pilot in a mock MH-60 chopper. He has his own special suit and helmet.

“He had his own flight suit, which took 18 hours for them to sew by hand,” his mother, Elizabeth Simmons said. “They made him a flight bag, patches, gave him a different rank, called him captain and saluted him.”

Make-A-Wish officials say the timing of the wish is key, that the anticipation of the wish coming true and the high afterwards, can help the patient feel stronger, more energetic, more willing and able to battle against their life threatening medical condition.

Simmons is especially grateful. “This dream wouldn’t have come true without the help of so many people this weekend.”

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