TRUMBULL, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut Make-A-Wish grants wishes for hundreds of ill children a year, but is in need of one of its own following a flood.
“I think the damage is going to be a little bit more extensive than what we thought, because it came through the ceilings, it came down walls,” said Pam Keough, the president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Connecticut.
The nonprofit’s headquarters flooded Sunday morning after 200 gallons of sewage water backed up in a nearby building.
Katy Sypher-Piper, whose 9-year-old daughter Ava had a wish granted in 2017, said the headquarters was a sanctuary.
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“I pictured them like running through the hallways, and then looking at the water and where the brand-new rugs, the murals, where everything needs to be ripped out, it is devastating,” Sypher-Piper said. “It took my breath away.”
Keough said carpets, sheetrock and cabinets will have to be gutted on two floors. The medical needs of the children the group helps, she said, makes the work crucial.
“We have compromised kids here, so we want to make sure that everything has been removed that needs to be removed that has any type of bacteria on it,” she said.
Make-A-Wish is working with a construction crew and insurance company to expedite the work so that children can return.
“Kids don’t get to make choices about pokes, needles, bloodwork, surgeries, nothing, but, here, they can choose anything that they want,” Sypher-Piper said.
And just how Make-A-Wish Connecticut helped Ava, Sypher-Piper wants other families to have that same safe space.
“I know that we’re going to come back from this, and I know that The Wishing Place will be better than ever, but just like a medical journey, this is really hard,” Sypher-Piper said.