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Make-A-Wish Michigan sending 8-year-old to Disney World

Allison Thome got the surprise of a lifetime on Monday.

CALEDONIA, Mich. — Make-A-Wish Michigan has granted more than 450 wishes to Michigan children with critical illnesses, and they granted one more on Monday.

Metro Health and Make-A-Wish Michigan surprised 8-year-old Allison Thome and her family with a trip to Disney World when she walked into Metro Health Hospital Monday.

Thome was born with transposition of the great arteries, a congenital heart defect. She had open-heart surgery when she was just 11 days old and spent the first month of her life in a neonatal intensive care unit.

Her mother, Doria, said this was something her daughter deserves.

"When I walked in the door, my heart just exploded with emotions because that little girl deserves this," Doria Thome said. "At the end of the day, she's been poked and prodded, and I just want her to know that she's normal."

Doria Thome said when they lived on the other side of the state, they tried to schedule an appointment with their doctor but were told they didn't work at that hospital. Then, they found Dr. Ronald Grifka, a pediatric cardiologist and chief medical officer at Metro Health.

The family has seen Grifka and his team ever since, and as Doria said, "without them, she wouldn't be here."

When Allison Thome walked through the door, she said she was really surprised, and she already knows what she wants to do at Disney World.

"I'm going to get my hair done," she said. "I'm excited about Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique."

Allison's father, Luke, said the family had taken trips to Florida before, but never to Disney World. Now, it's a first for the entire family.

"They covered all the stressful things about a vacation for us so we can go enjoy it with her and give our full attention to making sure she has the best time," Luke Thome said.

The Thome's will leave for their trip on Wednesday. 

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