Oliver Prats, a 10-year-old with Spina Bifida, was all smiles when local businessman Lee Mallett gifted him with tickets to watch the LSU Tigers play in the National Championship game.
For Christmas, Oliver had hoped to attend the Peach Bowl, but sadly after arriving in Atlanta, Oliver was rushed to the hospital to undergo emergency surgery. Although he missed the game, he stayed positive and strong.
Due to mounting medical bills, purchasing tickets to the National Championship game was not an option for the Prats family. That is when Paying it Forward Networking (PIFN) came into play.
Kellie Luke, who is the mother of Spina Bifida patient Adam Luke, stepped in and started making calls in an attempt to get Oliver to the game. The power of networking and Oliver’s story got the attention of the LSU Board of Supervisors. Oliver was surprised with tickets to watch LSU play in New Orleans in the comfort of a suite in the Superdome.
“Finding out that my son Oliver was going to be able to expeience the LSU Championship game with his dad, was beyond anything words could describe. We were all so humbled, thankful and grateful for Mr. Mallett’s generosity. When Oliver found out he would be watching from a suite, he nearly exploded with excitement. Oliver was able to attend the game of his lifetime with his dad and because of Mr. Mallett had the experience of a lifetime. We are forever impacted by the giving heart of Mr. Mallett,” said Oliver’s mother, Lacey Prats.
PFIN is a Louisiana based foundation that grants wishes through networking for children with special needs, life-threatening illnesses and disabilities.
“It is always so amazing to see people reach out to their network of friends to help children with special needs. This was truly an example of complete strangers going above and beyond to help a deserving child. And the fact that a mom of one of our former wish recipients set the entire thing in motion makes it a true example of what it means to “pay it forward”, said Kassi Robinson, founder of PIFN.