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News and Headlines
News and Headlines
EMS student has wish granted through Make a Wish Foundation

Blake Worthington, an eighth grade student at El Dorado Middle School was surprised by the Make A Wish Foundation during lunch on May 16.

Volunteer Coordinator Taylor Cady and Philanthropy Manager Bee Paredes announced to Blake that they would be granting his wish to be an extra on an LA movie set this summer.

Shannon Worthington found out at 24 weeks pregnant that Blake had hypoplastic right heart syndrome. Because he was born missing a right ventricle, he was considered a "blue baby." His weak heart was not pumping enough oxygen to his body. His blood-oxygen level was in the low 70's.

For the first two years, Blake's oxygen level remained in the 80's, and the Make A Wish Foundation reached out to the Worthingtons about granting a wish for Blake. Shannon wanted Blake to remember any trip they took, so requested waiting until he was older to request a wish.

Now, Blake's oxygen levels are in the 90's and he was on the middle school track team so Shannon reached out to Make A Wish earlier this year.

"I wanted Blake to have a really good memory because tomorrow isn't promised," Shannon Worthington said.

An avid Marvel movie fan, Blake thought it would be amazing to get a behind-the-scenes tour of the studios in Los Angeles, or even be an extra in a movie.

Blake's parents, brothers, and grandmothers joined the Make A Wish team to surprise Blake during his lunch break. In addition to providing flight and hotel accommodations, and arranging movie set experience, Make A Wish also presented Blake with balloons, movie snacks, Red Box coupons, and Marvel-themed books so he could prepare for his movie experience.

"It's great to get to come out and see the wish kid, see the wish family," Taylor Cady said. "It really brings [the behind the scenes work we do] home."

Blake will fly to LA the second week of June. There is no set life expectancy for Blake's heart condition. Blake's parents said the oldest monitored person with hypoplastic heart syndrome is in their thirties. For infants who make it to 12 months, there is a 90 percent long-terms survival rate.

"Blake is an awesome kid," Shannon said. "He doesn't let his condition define him."

To learn more about the Make A Wish Foundation, please visit their website mokan.wish.org.

Blake Worthington receives Make A Wish
L-R: Taylor Cady- Make A Wish Volunteer Coordinator, Tyler Worthington- brother, Andy Worthington- dad, Shannon Worthington- mother, Bryck Gilbert- brother, Blake Worthington, Debbie Hokkanen- grandmother, Sara Gilbert- grandmother, Bee Paredes- Make A Wish Philanthropy Manager