Everyday Hero: Shriners Hospital for Children patient pays it forward with Microsoft wish
Elijah Anderson knows the game room at Shriners Hospital for Children, where between surgeries he's able to shoot pool, make goals at the foosball table and play video games.
It was his wish for the other kids at the hospital that makes him today's Everyday Hero.
Elijah is a 12-year-old boy from Liberia who loves soccer and video games...and wanted to share those loves with his fellow patients at Shriners Hospital for Children.
So he made a wish at the Wish Machine Portland Microsoft store.
That wish came true on Friday.
“We went around and shopped for Christmas stuff and we saw Microsoft and we went in to play,” Elijah said. “My parents saw the Wish Machine and brought the idea up to make the wish. And we made a wish and it came true.” Elijah was six years old when a generator exploded into flames, causing terrible burns to his face arms and right hand.
For the past six years, the 12-year-old has shuttled back and forth between Africa and the home of his host parents, Sarah and Josh Wagner of Buckley, Washington while undergoing plastic surgeries.
Elijah's wish was an upgrade of the video games and electronic gear so that he and other patients could better manage their pain and nervousness with happy and fun distraction.
Some of the video games were showing their age.
“It had some games like, like the controller sometime maybe if you press the A button to jump it won't jump and stuff like that,” Elijah said.
At Microsoft stores across the US more than 5,000 wishes were entered in the Wish Machine, and just 100 wishes granted.
Microsoft store officials in Portland were struck by the tone of Elijah’s wish.
“The point of the machine is to help empower others,” said Portland store manager Molly Dotson. “And so Elijah came into the store his wish was to get Surfaces and X-Boxes set up for Shriner's Hospital. It was the selflessness that came from such a small child and that he wanted to give toys and things to others that he had in his life.”
Elijah's journey to america for his surgeries will likely last well into his late teens to fit and heal his growing body.
For now, his wish is for a merry Christmas for all the kids at Shriners...and a message for us all.
“The wishes were for someone else, to help someone else,” he said. “But some people did it for themselves. I did it for someone else. I think that's what makes it come true.”