After the wish: 10 years later, Evan Pratt is using his life to help others

Evan Pratt may have struggled with illness early in his life, but the 23-year-old isn't letting it stop him from helping others.

10 years after having his wish for a pool granted, Pratt is helping people in need

Evan Pratt qualified for a wish when he was 13 and struggling with chronic severe asthma. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

Evan Pratt may have struggled with illness early in his life, but the 23-year-old isn't letting it stop him from helping others.

Pratt grew up with chronic severe asthma, and attacks had him in and out of the hospital on a regular basis. It made it difficult and sometimes impossible to breathe.

Evan's mother, Danette Pratt, says her son was able to make the best of a tough situation. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

The disease also forced him to miss a lot of school. Doctors said it was the worst case in Atlantic Canada, and many who had the disease died.

"We learned to roll with things after a while," said his mother, Danette Pratt.

For her, a big struggle was taking care of her daughter, while also taking care of Evan, who would need to be rushed to the hospital at a moment's notice.

Her husband did shift work, and her daughter would cry when Evan had his attacks. 

These struggles qualified Evan Pratt for the Children's Wish Foundation's Make a Wish program when he was 13.

Pratt considered his options, thinking about a trip, or even an army tank, but in the end he decided he wanted a pool.

The pool Evan Pratt received when he was 13 is still in his parent's backyard and gets a lot of use. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

He felt it would be something he could enjoy for the rest of his life, even when doctors didn't know how long he would survive.

But Evan Pratt did survive. He still has severe asthma, but it's no longer life-threatening. His mother said he made the best of a bad situation.

"It was a way of life for Evan," she said. "He didn't know anything different. He would go and he enjoyed himself. It was like home to him in the hospital. "

Giving back

While Pratt was struggling with the disease, he met many paramedics, who would show up when he had one of his asthma attacks.

Pratt looked up to them, and the calm and help they brought. Once, Pratt even walked with local paramedics in a parade, sporting a special paramedic jacket they had made for him.

Evan is now a Moncton paramedic, inspired by those who helped him. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

"I was sick all the time, going into the ambulance a lot and I really seen that difference they made to me," said Pratt.

Now, it's Pratt's turn. He works as a paramedic in Moncton.

"I wanted to be able to hopefully be able to do that for someone else, give a bit of that kindness I was able to receive back."

That's not the only way Evan Pratt is giving back.

On Friday night, Pratt will drop the puck at a hockey game in his hometown of Doaktown, where money will be raised for the Children's Wish Foundation and go to help kids going through their own struggles, as Pratt did. 

About the Author

Philip Drost

Philip Drost is a reporter with CBC New Brunswick.