CHESTER COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - A Chester County teenager just had his dream come true, thanks to Charlotte-based charity Dream On 3 and The New England Patriots.
Christian Wylie hit his head on the bottom of a pool last summer and is now paralyzed, dependent on a wheelchair and using a ventilator. But his mind is still active, his personality is still big, and when Dream On 3 swooped into surprise him with a 19th birthday party and the gift of a VIP all-expense paid trip to Boston to meet his favorite sports heroes, Christian had no words. He had a smile as big as his face… but as he sat there looking out at the room of people who love him, he was speechless.
"We wanted Christian to know that when life changes, you can still dream," said Dream On 3 co-founder, Brandon Lindsey. "Some people see a story of broken dreams, but Christian doesn't see that about himself. We wanted to make sure he knew we believe in him and just because things are different now, dreams don't have to break."
It was right after that when Brandon announced that Christian would be flying out the next day with his parents and 24-hour round-the-clock caregiver to hang out with Rob Gronkowski and the New England Patriots.
Once in Boston, Christian and his family was put up at the Ritz, which had a full-size shower equipped for wheelchair access, ate at Del Friscos, and saw legendary bands Journey and Def Leopard play inside Fenway Park.
As for meeting his football celebrities, Christian got one-on-one time with Gronkowski and also met Stephon Gilmore – originally from the University of South Carolina – who gave Christian his practice gloves.
"I'll never forget all of it," Christian said later. "It really was a dream come true."