OXNARD, Calif. -- It was a very special day for a 9-year-old Oxnard boy battling a severe heart defect. The Make-A-Wish Tri-County granted his request for a special Christmas surprise.
It was a Christmas parade that Rayen Williams was not expecting. The 9-year-old has a severe congenital heart defect that he has been battling.
“This is the most resilient kid that I know,” said Shaurie Hurt, who is Rayen’s mom. “Everything that he has been through, 12 surgeries, and his first whole year he lived in the hospital, you would not know it looking at him. He is the happiest, sweetest kid.”
On Tuesday Make-A-Wish Tri-County surprised Rayen with a Holiday parade.
“Yes, I am surprised,” said Rayen Williams.
The Oxnard Fire and Police Departments was among those in the parade. Police Chief Scott Whitney even took time to greet the family.
“Merry Christmas,” said Whitney. “RayRay this is your day.”
Rayen's Mom was overcome with joy to see so many people celebrating her son.
“It has been a tough nine years this year especially because of his illness he hasn’t been able to go anywhere,” said Hurt. “So he has been a little hermit inside the house and we go on walks and things like that, but he is not socializing or anything like that so that has been challenging.”
Santa Claus was also in the parade and dropped off some special gifts, including a Nintendo switch, which was on his Christmas list.
The family says in the past-- having fire engines come to the house wasn't a good thing.
“He has had heart failure at our house here several times,” said Hurt. “And at least three times I can recall them coming to our house just to perform CPR or some type of aid on him since he was a baby.”
But this visit by fire officials was one to remember.
“This is a different kind of memory,” said Hurt. “I am so happy for this memory.”