Make-A-Wish helps teen battling Crohn’s disease become surgeon for a day

HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a South Florida teen was able to live out her dream of being a surgeon for a day.

Arriving in a white limousine, 17-year-old Madison Burton arrived at Joe DiMaggio’s Children’s Hospital for her day as a cardiac surgeon.

“It’s a good experience, and I’ve always wanted to do it, so I’m glad it’s happening,” Madison said.

This experience is happening thanks to Make-A-Wish Southern Florida, which has granted more than 11,000 wishes like this for children with critical illnesses. Madison suffers from Crohn’s disease.

“It depends on the day, but some days I’ll just wake up and can’t really do normal activities, and it sets me back sometimes,” she said.

However, this is not one of those days. Madison donned scrubs and a white coat and went on the move with Dr. Frank Schol, the Chief of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery. She got the opportunity to learn about what she hopes to do one day.

“I guess this is a relatively uncommon kind of wish where people want to be a part of something as opposed to go somewhere or get something, and we want her to feel part of the team and really get the most out of this experience,” Dr. Schol said.

“We’re making her dream come true, and you could see the smile on her face and the passion that she has for cardiology and medicine and … it’s a great day,” said Richard Kelly, the COO of Make-A-Wish Southern Florida.

Madison even got the chance to sit in on a surgery and watch Dr. Schol operate on a 5-day-old baby with heart problems.

Madison’s mother, Heather Burton, was elated to see her daughter take a break from her daily worries about her pain and just enjoy the moment.

“She deserves it, and Make-A-Wish has done this for her today, and it has not stopped with going above and beyond for her,” Burton said.

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