MARIETTA, Ga. - It seemed like an impossible wish: A 7-year-old Georgia boy diagnosed with congenital heart disease wanted to blast off to Saturn in a red rocket ship. Thankfully, the team at Make-A-Wish Georgia specializes in making dreams come true, and recently sent Commander Zayden to “space” in a first-of-its-kind mission.
Zayden Wright was diagnosed with congenital heart disease at just 2 days old, and has since gone through more than 30 endocardiograms and four open heart surgeries. When he made his wish to visit Saturn in a red rocket ship, the team at Make-A-Wish Georgia went to work, finally landing on the idea of using virtual reality to make it happen. Although virtual reality had never been used to grant a wish before, Atlanta-based 3D animation and virtual reality studio TRICK 3D designed an entire virtual “space mission” using Zayden’s ideas as a blueprint (and yes…they made sure that rocket ship was red!).
After getting some training from former NASA astronaut Commander LeRoy Chiao, Zayden was given a police escort to Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, where the virtual launch took place on Monday, May 1st.
Good Day Atlanta’s Paul Milliken was there when Zayden “returned” to his home planet, and talked to those involved about this incredible day.