Girl uses her wish from Make-A-Wish Foundation to meet Helena Bonham Carter
A girl from Northern Ireland has used her wish from Make-A-Wish Foundation UK to meet Helena Bonham Carter. Fifteen-year old Shealyn Magill was born with a severe heart condition. Over the past year, her health has sadly deteriorated, and she has been unable to follow her true passion – acting.
Shealyn has long been an admirer of Bonham Carter for the quirky, eccentric characters that she portrays on screen and aspires to take on similar roles, so when the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK asked her what her wish would be, she chose to meet her heroine.
Shealyn, from Ballymena, first had heart surgery at 10 months old, which sustained her for 6 years, and in 2005 she had a heart valve transplant. In June 2013, Shealyn was told she was still in heart failure, that her valve was leaking, and that she had a swollen left ventricle. This meant her vertebrae was twisted, and she developed scoliosis. In September 2013 Shealyn had a mechanical valve implant, but has been told she may need a heart transplant.
Shealyn arrived at the Dorchester Hotel in London and was taken to the Sleeping Beauty Penthouse for afternoon tea with the actress. They chatted like old friends for hours about Shealyn’s condition and Helena’s illustrious career. At the end of the day, Helena presented Shealyn with a special edition of a replica wand used by Bellatrix in the Harry Potter films. Shealyn had bought Helena a gift, too – a Celtic brooch she designed herself, which Helena put on straight away.
Shealyn said on the encounter,
Helena has inspired me to keep going. The wish had a huge impact, as I have been feeling very down about the fact that I am in heart failure; however, the wish gave me a boost when I needed it most.
Shealyn talks about me being an inspiration, but she is the real one, together with her sister and mother. It was my privilege to meet and spend time with her. I’ve often thought pretending for a living is not the most useful or grown up way of spending one’s life, but if I can make an iota of difference [in] someone’s life just by meeting them then I feel for once it was a day well spent. Make-A-Wish is an extraordinary charity that makes magical encounters happen. And trust me, the magic works both ways.
Shealyn’s mum, Clare, added,
The wish provided a positive light in Shealyn’s life. She often doesn’t like people knowing about her condition, but meeting Helena allowed her to embrace who she is in front of someone she really admires.
To find out how you can help the Make-A-Wish Foundation make more wishes come true, click here. Have you ever had a similar encounter with any of the Potter cast? Let us know in the comments.