GOODYEAR, Ariz. - A rare, big wish is beginning to come true for a Valley boy who has gone through more than 10 surgeries.
12 News was there for the big announcement, the big reveal when he learned he’s going to get to see Pope Francis!
We got the chance to meet an Arizona wish kid named Nikolas and his family. Nikolas has lived a life full of medical emergencies. Little did he know, we were also there to catch his surprise on camera.
6-year old Nikolas Humphrey-Bitsui was born with a lot of birth defects and a rare disorder called VACTERL association, which has been augmented by a rare pain disorder.
“Chronic lung disease is one of those things that he deals with on a regular basis,” said Jessica Bitsui, Nikolas’ mother.
Jessica will tell you Nikolas has endured much more than most kids his age. He’s gone through 10 surgeries, including a recent surgery on his back that took more than five hours.
“He’s talked about going to heaven,” she said through tears. “So it’s really emotional.”
After one surgery, he shared something with his mother.
“He started seeing angels,” she said.
“I wave to them and I say hi,” Nikolas said.
Nikolas says he waves to angels who follow him when he’s in the car or outside.
“I know their names,” he said. “There’s one, it’s uh … Sun Angel.”
Nikolas has a wish to meet the pope someday.
“Because he’s my favorite guy to meet,” he said.
His mother says they are religious, but not in a way that would’ve made Nikolas particularly susceptible to these ideas.
12 News was at his Goodyear home when Make-A-Wish volunteers told him they’re granting his wish.
“I just admire him,” said Cooky O’Brien, a Make-A-Wish volunteer. “He always talked about the pope when we’d get him things.”
“He knew ... he knows the difference between Pope Francis and his priest,” she said.
Nikolas’ parents are just as thankful as he is for this unique opportunity that means so much.
“It’s a blessing that Make-A-Wish was able to make Nikolas’ wish come true,” said Nathaniel Bitsui, Nikolas’ father.
One week from Monday, on Nov. 28, he will be heading out to meet Pope Francis. What an exciting and unforgettable trip that will be. Team 12 will be following his journey!