When Hayden Hulsey’s mom pushed his wheelchair into the building at 305 Intergraph Way in Madison, Alabama, on Thursday, the 8-year-old’s face bore an expression of wide-eyed astonishment. Who were these hundreds of people in the large lobby, and why were they cheering him on?
Once the Killen, Ala., boy was taken down to the terrace level of Intergraph Process, Power & Marine and Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure, he was greeted by characters from Star Wars and the University of Alabama mascot “Big Al.” He began smiling.
And then, when it was announced that Make-A-Wish Alabama had arranged (with financial support from Intergraph and Hexagon) for a family trip to the San Diego Zoo, LEGOLAND, and a deep-sea fishing adventure, his joy was obvious.
“I love this,” he told his mother, Taylor Hulsey, raising his eyebrows in excitement as each new gift was revealed.
Hayden was paralyzed in the summer of 2015 when his grandmother passed out from low blood sugar and crashed her car while the two were on their way to the grocery store. He now breathes with the help of a portable ventilator.
His mother shared with Make-A-Wish Alabama that her son loves watching animals on National Geographic programs, Legos, and Alabama football, so an appropriate “wish” package was pulled together. It also includes tickets to a Crimson Tide football game later this month.
“They gave him everything and more,” Taylor Hulsey said. “We are so happy and so grateful.”