Tyler Gets His Wish – To Meet The Colts

Posted Oct 23, 2017

Tyler Beikes’ health problems started before he was even born.

“We found out about his heart condition when I was five months pregnant,” says his mom, Amber.

Born with a condition called Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome, the right side of his heart is basically non-existent.

He had his first open heart surgery at 10 days old. He had his second heart surgery at 6 ½ months old. The third surgery came at 2 ½ years old. That was supposed to be the easy one, but they almost lost him right afterwards.

He spent weeks in the heart center at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital and though he doesn’t remember it, that’s where his connection to the Colts began.

“We were just sitting in the room and somebody was talking in the hallway and I’m like, ‘Man, they’re talking awfully loud for an ICU floor,’” Amber says. “My husband happened to turn his head and he’s like, ‘That was Peyton.’”

She didn’t believe him at first. But minutes later, she was able to see for herself.

“He came in and shook our hands. He came up to Tyler’s bedside. You could tell it really got to him and it touched his heart, especially when he saw a little one in the bed, tubes coming out, his chest is covered. He held up a Super Bowl shirt and he’s like, ‘This is for him. I want him to have it.’ And he gave him a stuffed Eeyore. And we have those to this day.”

Now a blonde-haired 12-year-old with big blue eyes, an infectious laugh, and a permanent grin – for people who meet him, it’s hard to believe Tyler is sick at all. But his heart function continues to drop and he’ll eventually need a transplant. He also suffers from seizures and severe asthma.

His heart condition may prevent him from playing sports – but it doesn’t prevent him from lending a hand.

“He was the football manager last year,” says Amber. “And there was a friend who was being bullied, so he talked to the football team and the football team rallied around this kid and brought him onto the team as part manager. He’s there to help other kids out.”

For all those reasons, Amber wanted to do something special for her son – so, she contacted Make-A-Wish.

“Last November I reached out and sent them an email about Tyler’s situation,” she says. “Probably about mid-December, a couple weeks before Christmas, his two wish granters came out to talk to us and talk to Tyler and find out what kind of wish he was looking at.”

For Tyler, it was not a hard decision.

“He goes, ‘I want to meet the Colts.’”

And specifically his favorite player, T.Y. Hilton.

Last Friday, his wish came true.

Now living in Tucson, Arizona, Make-A-Wish flew Tyler and his family to Indianapolis on Thursday. On Friday afternoon, they arrived at the Colts complex.

Tyler was interviewed in the studio by Colts reporter Caroline Cann and he was a natural on set.

“You look very relaxed,” said Cann. “I think you’re more relaxed than I am and I do this as my job.”

“I had hot chocolate this morning,” he replied.

From there, it was into the Colts radio studio with the Voice of the Colts, Bob Lamey.

“Ok, there’s a couple things we’ve got to get straight here now,” said Lamey. “You were born in Indiana. You live in Arizona. Your favorite color is red – of the Arizona Cardinals.”

“It’s not my favorite color,” Tyler said.

“That’s what it says right there – favorite color, red. That’s wrong, isn’t it?”


“What is your favorite color?”

“It’s blue.”

“Oh, ok,” said Lamey. “I like that a whole lot better.”

After eating lunch in the pavilion, Colts General Manager Chris Ballard came in to greet the Beikes family and bring Tyler out to the practice field.

When practice was over, Coach Pagano invited him into the huddle, introduced him to the team, and when he asked him who his favorite player was, he marched over to Hilton, gave him a hug, and demonstrated his T.Y. dance.

On Sunday, Tyler and his family were on the sideline at Lucas Oil Stadium before the Colts played the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jacoby Brissett brought him out to warm up with the quarterbacks.

Afterwards, many players greeted him on the sideline, including Hilton, Coach Pagano, and Andrew Luck, who missed him at practice on Friday.

“He was just seeing how I was doing. He told me to introduce my family, so I did,” Tyler said.

Second only to Hilton, Luck is also one of Tyler’s favorite Colts players. And apparently, he’s a big fan of Tyler’s as well.

“He saw the video. He liked it when I pushed Jacoby out of the way to get to T.Y. and did the dance.”

Tyler served as honorary captain and was on the field alongside the Colts captains for the coin toss. During the National Anthem, he held the flag while his family members linked arms with the players.

Tyler and his family are now part of the Colts family.

Heartwarming is how Amber describes the weekend – for all of them.

“To see it come together and actually happen, it makes me smile because Tyler is sidelined for so much in life. Even if it’s one day, that is one day he will talk about forever.”

Tyler may have only half a working heart, but his ability to love has no limits.

He loves his family, he loves his friends, and he loves his Colts with his whole heart.

And he’ll always have a special place in theirs.

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