Make-A-Wish provides playhouse for North Las Vegas boy

Updated November 26, 2018 - 9:57 pm

From his tiny wheelchair, under the shade of a backyard pergola, little Sultan Bouras Souissi could hardly contain his excitement.

A compromised immune system keeps the 6-year-old indoors because the germs of public playgrounds and the dangerous desert heat can ravage his sensitive skin.

But on Monday, dozens of Make-A-Wish volunteers brought the sunshine — without the warmth

— to him in the form of a brand new air-conditioned playhouse next to his family’s pool.

“Wow!” the boy said as he was wheeled inside for the first time, slowly taking it all in. “Cool!”

The structure in Sultan’s backyard is outfitted with floor-to-ceiling windows and two large skylights so he can safely enjoy the daylight while watching TV, playing in a ball pit or working through physical therapy sessions.

Sultan also has scoliosis and spina bifida, a birth defect that leaves him little to no feeling in his legs.

Before the new playhouse, the boy was able to go outside only in the early mornings or evenings. His father sometimes caught him straining to peek over the windowsills in their house, looking longingly at other children playing in the street.

“He wants to go to the park. He wants to go outside,” the boy’s father, Mohammed Bouras Souissi, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We understand that. But it’s very hard for us to take him out because we know that that night, we’re going to spend it in the hospital.”

The new playhouse “is going to change his life,” the father said.

Inside the structure, surrounded by the crowd of volunteers who helped design and build it, Sultan shouted a loud “Thank you all!”

His father helped lift him into the ball pit, where he threw a few plastic balls at onlookers, laughing.

“Climbing in and out of there is actually a huge task for him,” Sultan’s physical therapist, Amy Brewster, said. “And when he is moving through the balls, it is a resistance, making it more difficult.”

But over time, Brewster said, the strength Sultan builds will allow him to get in and out of his wheelchair by himself, making him more independent.

“That’s why this beautiful room is so amazing, because it has to be a place where we go where we’re going to play, where we’re going to do things that benefit him, but they’re not going to be boring,” Brewster said. “He won’t know until he is like 15 or 16 that we were ever doing any work.”

As Sultan rolled through the playhouse smiling, several volunteers pointed out its many unique features, including the mural of Sultan as Spider-Man swinging through a cityscape.

“Sultan, look,” one woman said, pointing at one of the skylights. “This is where you can see the sky and watch the airplanes.”

“Whoa!” the boy shouted, staring upward.

Tiny toy airplanes also hung from the ceiling.

James Gentry, who designed the interior space, said he spent many hours with Sultan and his parents over the past few months learning his favorite colors and watching his favorite YouTube videos.

Sometimes when he would come over to work on the playhouse, he would quietly walk through the backyard gate so as not to disturb the family. But Sultan would always hear him anyway, and soon Gentry would hear the boy shouting from inside the house, “Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy!”

“Now I’m going to miss hearing that,” Gentry said, pausing as a tear or two welled in his eyes. “He’s really amazing.”

As the crowd thinned out, enjoying some refreshments in the family’s kitchen, Sultan’s father said he was thankful for the project and the team that made it happen.

“It means a lot to us,” Bouras Souissi said. “We are here, only me and my wife and him. We have nobody besides our job. We don’t have so many friends because we don’t go out, we don’t gamble, we don’t drink, we don’t do anything because we dedicate all our time to him.”

“Now,” he said, “we have a family. A big family.”

Again, Sultan shouted, “Thank you all!”

Contact Rachel Crosby at rcrosby@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3801. Follow @rachelacrosby on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Las Vegas charter school excels in areas of greatest need
Mater Academy Mountain Vista charter school students excel despite the fact that half the students are English language learners and all qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
People in Mesquite deal with a massive power outage
People in Mesquite respond to a major power outage in the area on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New MLK freeway onramps
How to navigate the trio of new freeway onramps from Martin Luther King Boulevard. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Extreme weather closes Scenic Loop in Red Rock Canyon
High winds and flooding closed the Scenic Loop in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area Thursday. Minor flooding across Highway 159 caused drivers to slow, but didn't close the road. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Learning live-saving techniques in Stop the Bleed class
Leslie Shaffer, an AMR paramedic, shows how to control bleeding during a Stop the Bleed course at the Summerlin Library. The class is designed to teach anyone how to control and stop life-threatening bleeding. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tourists enjoy rain in downtown Las Vegas
Tourists break out the umbrellas. But Brian Herting of Lincoln, Nebraska, dons shorts and a T-shirt, as he makes his way through downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Thick fog blanketed Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday
Thick fog blanketed Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday. The National Weather Service.forecast called for a 50 percent chance of rain. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Time lapse video of fog covering the Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is shrouded in fog Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Tony Spilotro's Las Vegas home for sale — VIDEO
The former Las Vegas home of Chicago mob enforcer, Tony Spilotro, is now for sale. Spilotro, who was portrayed by Joe Pesci in the film Casino, is the original owner of the home at 4675 Balfour Drive, built in 1974. (Samia DeCubas/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Buffalo Drive And Mountains Edge Parkway Fatal
Las Vegas police and the Nevada Highway Patrol are investigating a fatal crash in the southwest valley on Saturday afternoon. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV's Joel Ntambwe on his play
UNLV forward Joel Ntambwe talks about his play at this point in the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Sam Schmidt chats about hectic off-season
IndyCar team owner Sam Schmidt and lead driver James Hinchcliffe chat about the hectic off-season at the SpeedVegas high-performance driving facility outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
R-J's Mark Anderson on UNLV's victory
Review-Journal sports reporter Mark Anderson recaps UNLV's victory at New Mexico. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
UNLV's Noah Robotham on the win at New Mexico
UNLV guard Noah Robotham talks about winning at New Mexico on Jan. 8, 2019. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV's Kris Clyburn on big 3 vs. New Mexico
UNLV guard Kris Clyburn talks about his key 3-pointer against New Mexico. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marvin Menzies on beating New Mexico
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about UNLV's win at New Mexico on January 8, 2019. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New HOV Ramp Scheduled to Open in March
New HOV ramp scheduled to open in March of 2019.
American Preparatory Academy part of charter school growth in Las Vegas
American Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas has a waiting list of students who want to attend. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Wheelchair tournament at UNLV
Cesar Robledo talks about wheelchair basketball and what it means for players to compete during the Wheelchair Basketball Division I-II Tournament at UNLV in Las Vegas, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Marvin Menzies on UNLV's trip to Hawaii
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about the upcoming trip to Hawaii. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Pinecrest Academy Horizon principal wins Milken Educator Award
Tony Sanchez on UNLV's recruiting class
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez talks about his early signing class. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Siegel Cares delivers bagels to families in need
Since Thanksgiving, Mark Lenoir of Siegel Cares, has been delivering leftover Bagelmania bagels to families staying at the Siegel Suites.
Dan Barnson steps down
Arbor View football coach Dan Barnson stepped down Friday after 12 seasons at the helm. Under Barnson, the Aggies won 104 games and became one of the top programs in Las Vegas. The Aggies went 12-2 in 2018 and won a region championship for the first time in program history. Barnson loves Friday nights, but said the 12-month commitment was getting exhausting.
NFR 2018 Highlights
NFR 2018 highlights from every round of this years rodeo.
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, Nevada. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
Tony Sanchez wraps up the UNLV season
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez wraps up the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like