Born with congenital heart disease, wish kid Zoey was came into the world as a fighter. She had her first surgery at just 24 hours old. In her six short years, Zoey has already survived 13 surgeries (three open heart), five strokes, seven cardiac arrests, and 22 months of inpatient treatment in the hospital.
But through it all, Zoey maintained high spirits which reminded her parents to stay strong too. Throughout her treatments, hospital stays, and bad days, her parents did a lot of reading to and with Zoey, which led her to LOVE to read. Her mom, Tori, says their house practically looks like a bookstore because Zoey is always wanting more books to read.
Because of her love of reading, Tori asked her if she’d want her wish to have something to do with books and Zoey liked that idea. Then she asked if she wanted to have a book written about her and Zoey’s face lit up! She loved that idea and they knew right away that was the perfect wish for her.
Through a partnership with A Novel Idea, an organization that helps middle school and high school students write their own novels, and some artists that volunteered to do the illustrations, Zoey’s wish was brought to life! “Zoey’s Heart,” written by Wendy Martin of ANI with Zoey’s help, puts an adorable, playful twist on her life and her journey with congenital heart disease. The book focuses on Zoey’s heart and what it will take to make it whole.
In the end, Zoey finds that she is able to make her heart whole with her courage! To present this beautiful new book to Zoey, her family and her friends, a book reveal party was held at a local bookstore. Everyone involved in the making of the book got to share how this project came together and why it was so special to them, Tori shared a bit about Zoey’s story and why they chose this wish, and then they got to see Zoey’s book for the first time. Her face was immediately filled with a smile! Zoey even did a book signing so that everyone could leave with their very own signed copy of “Zoey’s Heart.”
Something Tori loved about Zoey’s wish was that it’s tangible. “Zoey can carry this book with her for the rest of her life and say, ‘This is something I did!’” Zoey’s family also loves that the wish doesn’t stop here because for every copy of Zoey’s book that is sold, a portion of the proceeds will go to Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee and the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association.