The Valdosta Daily Times
VALDOSTA — A little Valdosta girl received a special trike custom-built in Europe from the Make-A-Wish Foundation Friday at Dewar Elementary.
Surrounded by classmates, siblings, friends and teacher Kelsey Case, Mackenzie Lockhart smiled as she was placed in the trike. One of the 6-year-old triplets of Mitch and Shaun Lockhart, Mackenzie has Lennox-Gastau Syndrome, a severe pediatric form of epilepsy, as well as Cerebral Palsy.
“Her siblings (the other two of my 6-year-old triplets) Megan and Jack, as well as my 8-year-old Wayne, chose her gift,” mom Shaun Lockhart said. “They were adamant that she have some way to ride their bikes with her this spring and summer.
“We as a family had been looking at a ‘Hase Trets Custom Trike’ that is actually made in Europe and can be converted easily to a cart or jogging stroller for Mackenzie. The children put in their request to Make A Wish, and it has come true.
“We are so grateful as this gift has taken a great deal of work by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Ann Clark Bailey (her Make-a-Wish coordinator), the local Make-a-Wish volunteers ... as well as Mr. Terry Hoppy Dean, who is a bike store owner in California, whom we have never met, who stepped in and helped to bring this all to fruition,” Shaun said.
The bike was built mostly in Europe by the Hase company in order to expedite its arrival and delivery to the Valdosta Bike Store, which completed the build and assisted with its delivery to the school Friday morning.
“I don’t think I will ever be able to thank all of these individuals enough, but I know that when Mackenzie is feeling the wind and sun on her face, that all will be OK,” her mom said. “We are so blessed to have had four beautiful children and to have been blessed by Mackenzie’s love, smile, and laughter for as long as we are meant to have her.
“A mother and father could never have asked for more.”
Shaun said Mackenzie had been doing “extremely well” up until 10 weeks ago when she developed a severe progression of her seizures.
“She has now been to Macon and received a peg tube for giving medications and nutrition when needed. During this process, she has also been placed on Hospice. Mackenzie has spent the last week in the Langdale Hospice House requiring IV medications, but was able to be discharged home in time for Easter with her family.”
The siblings’ love for their sister is very evident.
“Jack’s my artist who often draws her in her wheelchair and plays games with Mackenzie. He often rolls the ball to her or reads to her, or watches movies with her,” Shaun said. “Megan helps do a little bit of everything with her, including reading to her at night or laying with her in her bed watching TV at night. She often helps with her bath.
“Wayne does it all. When no one can calm her troubles and tears, it is this one who has always come to her rescue. He said he would always be the one who would take her to the prom.”
“She is such a big part of their lives, and they are better for it. They are so protective of both special needs adults and children, and are all so patient with them, thanks to Mackenzie. Everyone says ‘they are the most loving children they have ever met.’
“Mackenzie has blessed us.”