Northwoods Teen's Christmas Wish Becomes Reality

Dec 22, 2016

  A Northwoods teen got what he asked for for Christmas thanks to doctors, the Make-a-Wish Foundation and dozens of local volunteers.

Eric Hedberg of Land O’ Lakes was diagnosed in 2004 with Gitelman syndrome, a disease that affects the kidneys and its ability to produce magnesium and potassium; two key elements for brain and muscle function.

 “…It has gotten better in the last few years partially because I think I’m just getting used to it more. Unfortunately I’ve had to have six surgeries now to have metaports and catheters in my chest so I can give myself daily Iv’s…which I do for 15 hours now…”

This past summer, Hedberg suffered complications during a surgery to implant a fusion import that prompted Hedberg’s doctors to nominate him to make a wish…

“…my wish was to have everyone home together in the new house, celebrating for Christmas..”

Hedberg says a trip somewhere would have been fun, it just wasn’t realistic…

“…A trip would be problematic because of either not feeling well, or lay in a hotel room while everyone else is out having fun or make everyone else miserable staying with me at the hotel, so I figured this would be permanent, and it seemed like the best use of the wish…”

The Make-a-Wish foundation is furnishing the living room and dining room of the home while volunteers like Dick Carr of Carr Builders in Eagle River are dedicating their time to renovate the nearly 100 year old farm house…

“…It was very difficult because of the age…lot of… you know a lot of disarray, but we are making good headway with it. We’ve had an overwhelming amount of support from volunteers so far.”

Carr says they’ve installed all new windows, are insulating and paneling the entire house and renovating the kitchen.   He says it will be a couple of weeks yet before the interior is done, but says they’ll have enough done so the Hedberg’s can move in by Christmas.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family.