NMB Make-A-Wish child set to meet Jadeveon Clowney

William-BriceSix year old William Brice Brady is a Gamecock fan, it’s as simple as that. Backpacks, t-shirts, posters, jerseys, he’s got them, and of course, that name.

It’s that love for Gamecock’s football, or rather, his parent’s love, that first introduced William to Jadeveon Clowney several years ago. “Every time they showed Clowney on TV, he was always smiling, and William would smile along with him. That, and Clowney’s hair, are what really caught William. To him, he and Clowney are best friends,” said father Heath Brady.

North Myrtle Beach’s William Brice has had a tough six years. He was born with pulmonary atresia, defined as a form of heart disease that occurs from birth (congenital heart disease), in which the pulmonary valve does not form properly. The pulmonary valve is an opening on the right side of the heart that regulates blood flow from the right ventricle (right side pumping chamber) to the lungs. Additionally, he’s been diagnosed with ventricular septal defect. “What that really means is, normally there is a valve that connects from the heart to the lungs when you are in the womb. When you are born, that valve dissolves and the pulmonary valve takes over. But, William didn’t have the pulmonary valve,” his father explained.

He’s had three open heart surgeries, and four heart catheterizations. He’ll continue to have surgeries until he’s fully grown, with expectations of 10-15 more procedures before that occurs. “It’s first nature to him. As far as he knows, it’s natural. He never shows any sign of fear, nor does he cry before going into the surgeries,” said Heath Brady, a North Myrtle Beach High School graduate and owner of HD Audio & Video in Longs. “When he gets out of surgery, he’s happy to see mom and dad, and the next thing he wants to do is watch Gamecock football or baseball on his Ipad.” Gamecock football, that smile, and Jadeveon Clowney, his best friend.

This weekend, through the magic of the Make-A-Wish foundation, William Brice is finally going to meet his best friend.

William, and his entire family, father Heath, mother Alisha, and 3 year old little brother Grayson Conner will fly WBfrom Myrtle Beach to Houston, Texas tomorrow morning for the trip of a lifetime, or at least the wish of a lifetime.

The family will spend Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night in Houston, with the majority of that time spent with the Houston Texans, the team for which Jadeveon Clowney is now the outside linebacker.

“Alisha was watching TV one day, when the Make-A-Wish commercial came on. We started talking about it, but decided to wait until William Brice was old enough to make his own decision. When he turned six, we sat down with him and he decided. So, we contacted the foundation,” said Heath Brady.

“The Make-A-Wish people came over to the house, and they asked him specifically what he would like to do. He said, ‘One second’, and ran to his room and got his Houston Texans jersey and held it up and said ‘I want to meet Clowney. I want to have breakfast and lunch with him, and throw the football,’” said Heath.

The Make-A-Wish organization normally asks for three options, in case things don’t work out. Some kids ask for Disney World, or other fun stuff. William Brice’s other two wishes were to meet Clowney.

The family will be picked up from their all-expenses-paid hotel on Saturday morning in a limo that will take them to meet Jadeveon Clowney, “…and whatever else the Texans organization has arranged as a surprise,” said Heath.

Sunday morning, they’ll take that same limo to the stadium, “…so that we can go in early. They’ll have our seats, but we’re going over early for whatever the Texans have set-up for that day,” Heath added.

The first grader at Ocean Drive Elementary school squeals with delight when asked about his excitement level for the anticipated trip.

As for that heart condition, mother Alisha says, “We had no idea when I was pregnant that there were any problems. When he was born, it was whirlwind of activity. As first time parents, you want that perfect child. But, he’s had to grow up quick, and I don’t think we would change anything.”

Grand Strand Sports Report will be in contact with the family during the entire trip. We’ll post regular updates from the family on our Facebook page at facebook.com/GSSReport.

Update:: Here are some photos from the meeting today (Saturday)

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