Friday, May 13, 2011
FEATURE: 'We're going to Disney World!'
Four-year-old Samantha Hewitt, center, of Chesaning sheds a single tear as he father Scott, left, mother Kim, right, and 11-year-old sister McKenna kiss and hug her upon arrival at the Make-A-Wish benefit Friday at Valley Plaza Resort, where Samantha was given a trip to Walt Disney World. The Hewitts adopted Samantha more than four years ago within days of her birth. Before the adoption papers were officially signed, Kim and Scott were notified of a genetic dysfunctional liver disease she had called Alagille Syndrome. That would not keep them from having her in the family, Scott Hewitt said. Samantha underwent treatments, and was lucky, Scott Hewitt said, to have her name called within three weeks of being written into liver transplant wait list. Her surgery was Aug. 1, 2010 and she was home within 13 days. "It was a miracle," Kim Hewitt said. "Tenacious is what she is. She's our baby. For our family, it's made us bond closer. Our marriage is stronger. I'm a better teacher. It may have given us a few gray hairs, but i'll take them for good health for our child. Now she's jumping up for the school bus and running around like a child — there were times where we didn't know if we would get her back again. So to see this is simply beautiful. We just pay it forward now." Scott Hewitt stayed most of the nights late at the hospital post-transplant. He said he is just happy to have her in his life. "I can't believe how tough this kid is," he said. "She is my daughter. Adoption is family just like anything else, and I love her. We've been through a lot, and I couldn't be more happy."