Parents make list of 73 milestones for terminally ill toddler
Posted July 11
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The parents of a terminally ill toddler set out to make sure she’d see all the milestones that make life so sweet.
Two-year-old Shiann Lockhart had to undergo heart transplant surgery shortly after she was born, and just a year later, she was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer that targets transplant patients, according to Today.
The cancer quickly spread from her brain to the rest of her body, and after months of treatment, it became clear that things weren’t going to get any better. So Shiann’s parents — Cora and Troy Lockhart — made the painful decision to check her out of the hospital and let her live out the short time she had left at home.
“Enough was enough, we thought,” Cora Lockhart told Today. “She has been through too much in her brief life to have to deal with anything more.”
Even in the midst of unimaginable pain, the Lockharts wanted to find a way to experience a bit of joy. So they sat down with their daughter and came up with a list of things Shiann dreamed of experiencing, as well as a few things they wanted to see their daughter do before they had to say goodbye.
“Every mother should be able to help her daughter pick out a prom dress and every father should be able to share a dance with his daughter on her wedding day,” Cora Lockhart told Today.
With the help of their church, friends and family, the Lockharts threw a special prom for Shiann last weekend. The little girl dressed up in a pretty gown and traveled to the dance in a limo — one of the items on her list. Dozens of loved ones cheered as Shiann was crowned prom queen, and tears were shed as she shared a dance with her daddy.
With 73 items on Shiann’s list, the Lockharts couldn’t possibly check everything off on their own. Friends have stepped up to make each little dream come true. Shiann wanted to dip her toes in the ocean, so a friend drove all the way to the Lockhart’s Ohio home from North Carolina with a bucket of ocean water for Shiann’s kiddie pool.
Every girl eagerly anticipates her first date, and Shiann was treated like a queen by her grandfather, who showed up at her doorstep with roses and took her to dinner at her favorite restaurant, Today reports.
Even strangers have been getting in on the action — using Photoshop to allow Shiann to “travel” to places like Disney World and Australia. The Columbus Police Department helped grant Shiann’s wish of flying in a helicopter when they took her on a private aerial tour of her city.
Another special moment: Shiann throwing out the first pitch at her older brother’s baseball game.
“Of course, nothing is like actually having Shiann here with us, but celebrating her life with her has been wonderful,” Cora Lockhart told Today.
Shiann continues to live her short life to the fullest — enjoying bowling with her family, a private screening of “Finding Dory,” pony rides at her local carnival and more. Her family said their special list makes this painful time much more sweet.
Jessica Ivins is a content manager for KSL.com and contributor to the Motherhood Matters section.