Some stories come out of nowhere and affect you. Having lost a daughter in miscarriage seven years ago, who was later determined to have had Turner Syndrome, this piece from the National Catholic Register just got to me a little bit:
Last Wednesday, 7-year-old Emma Watson of Craigmont, Idaho, finally got her wish to meet Pope Benedict XVI. Register readers will remember first meeting Emma through this story.
Nearly aborted, Emma was born with mosaic Turner syndrome and hypoplastic left heart syndrome and has undergone five open-heart surgeries for palliation of her congenital heart condition. She has wanted to meet the Pope since age 3.
Originally scheduled to meet the Pope in February, that trip had to be canceled because Emma had to be hospitalized for intestinal bleeding. The trip was made possible through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which granted 13,425 wishes to children last year.
This time around, she almost missed seeing the Pope for two different reasons. First, only three weeks before the trip, she was hospitalized with pancreatitis. Then, on the morning of the general audience, the Watson family couldn’t find the Make-A-Wish volunteers in the plaza.
Eventually, they found one another, and the Watsons were rushed in and seated for the general audience just minutes before it began. Emma and her mother, Patti, were given front-row seats.
“Mom was looking the other way when the Pope came out,” said Emma. “I was in awe, and I started crying.”
“She kept saying, ‘It’s the Pope. That’s the Pope,’” said Emma’s mother, Patti.
After the audience, Emma and her mother were brought to greet the Pope.
The Holy Father blessed Emma “in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,” and then put his hands on Emma’s shoulders.
“He asked us where we were from,” said Patti. “I said the U.S., and then we were ushered aside.”
Normally quite talkative, Patti said that Emma was “speechless for the first time in her life.”
Emma said that when she looked into the Pope’s eyes she saw “happiness.”