It turns out wishes and dreams can come true.
When Ethan Couch woke up from brain surgery 18 months ago his nurse suggested he go home and think of a wish.
“It’s got to be what you want, what you truly want. She walked out of the room and he just looked at me and said ‘I want to go the Masters,’” the teenager’s Mum Jennifer Couch told CNN of her golf-mad son’s desire to visit Augusta, home to the first major of the year.
“He’s kind and thoughtful and, he is someone who is respectful. He is such a great kid. We’re very proud of him.”
“I have a brain tumor which is inoperable,” explained 13-year-old Ethan as he talked about his condition tectal glioma. “So, it’s clogging the spinal fluids, so in 2013 they went and made a new hole for the spinal fluid to drain.”
PGA tour pro Kevin Streelman knows what’s it like to have a child with health difficulties – his baby daughter has spent time in intensive care – and the golfer was put in touch with the Couch family through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Ethan was at home when he got the call from Streelman, who said he was taking him to the Masters and that he wanted Ethan to caddy for him at Augusta’s Par 3 competition.
“I felt like I was going to pass out. It was awesome. It’s like, not even a once in a lifetime opportunity. No-one gets to do that. It’s super cool,” said Ethan.
“He said on the first hole that he wanted to win for me. There’s a jinx, apparently, that no-one’s ever won the Par 3 and the Masters in the same year. But he said he didn’t worry about it, he said he could win them both.”
Streelman was true to his word.
With Ethan by his side, the golfer beat Rory McIlroy and his caddy Niall Horan of One Direction fame, Tiger Woods and his kids, and the great Jack Nicklaus who scored his first ever hole-in-one at the Masters.
“There are some things that are more important than golf… Spending the day with him means even more than winning the green jacket,” Streelman told CNN.
When asked what he would say to kids his own age about his dream come true, Ethan replied, “If they believe in themselves then they can do whatever they want.”
The Couch family will be heading back home to Canada with memories for a lifetime, his mum adding, “We’re just happy that this happened for him. We’re very proud of him.”