Make-a-Wish Foundation surprises Jack Prater with his own garage

By | July 23, 2018 7:25 am

Jack Prater and his brother, Ashton, admire Jack’s garage sign. (Photo by RIMA AUSTIN)

It started innocently enough, little Jack Prater, 5, got dressed for school one morning, and his mother noticed his shirt bulging out on one side.

She asked him what it was, and he could not tell her. Upon lifting the shirt, she noticed his stomach was swollen. Jack could only say that he felt fine. Jack’s mother, Jessica Looney, and grandmother, Marie Murphy, immediately took him to the walk-in clinic where they took an x-ray.

“She took the x-ray and told us that he needs to go to the hospital and have an MRI done,” said Murphy. “We went on to Cookeville, and that is when they told us he has a massive tumor coming out of his kidney. It was a Wilms tumor. They told us that they were not even going to touch him, and they were sending him to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. They put him in an ambulance, and he and his mother went down there.”

Looney explained the hospital told her about the Make-A-Wish Foundation and how to get in touch with them. After contacting the foundation, they reached out to the family and began the process of making Jack’s wish come true. Emily Gray, communications manager for Middle Tennessee’s Make-a-Wish Foundation, explained the process of being granted a wish.

“Typically a medical professional, a parent or family member, or anyone familiar with the case can refer them to our website or give our office a call,” said Gray. “We verify with the doctor that they do have a critical illness. After that, we send volunteers to meet with them and do the paperwork. They ask them what their wish is, why it is their wish, and what can we do to make it special. Then there comes a day like today when we get to reveal it.”

Jack’s wish was to have his own garage with his own tools. Since he was young, Jack has spent all of his free time in his Papa’s garage helping him work on a motorcycle and anything else the two of them thought to make.

The moment came when Jack came home and was led to his garage in his parent’s basement behind a blindfold. Family members and the Make-a-Wish employees lined the walls waiting to capture Jack’s reaction to his surprise. After standing in amazement at his new tools, he meticulously looked through everything that belonged to him.

Afterward, Jack’s mother had pizza for everyone on the lawn. As Jack grabbed his pizza and his drink, he was asked if he was happy.

“I am very happy,” said Jack.

comments » 1

  1. Comment by Sue Haston

    July 23, 2018 at 8:15 am

    This is a wonderful story. Congratulations on the new garage Jack

    You are going to have a great time in You new garage!!

    Best Wishes

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