Lainey Wilson made a young girl’s dream come true during her recent headlining performance in Visalia, CA as part of her Country With A Flare Tour. On Friday (Jan. 14), Davey Jean, 9, attended the concert with her family members and received the surprise of a lifetime when the country star took notice of her posters that revealed she previously underwent open heart surgery.
In an Instagram post that recapped the momentous night, Davey Jean’s mom, Brittney Stanley, explained that they had worked hard all day making the posters that earned her daughter an invitation to join Wilson on stage. She called Davey Jean up to give her a shoutout for her bravery and also sign her brightly colored poster that stood out from the crowd.
Wilson shared the heartfelt moment to social media with words added over the video that read, “I had to give her a shoutout cause if anyone’s got a heart like a truck, it’s her.”
“You’re one tough cookie Davey. Thanks for being brave and comin up on stage with me ❤️ 🛻” she added in her caption.
Brittney told Country Now that her daughter has a rare genetic condition called 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, and that she was diagnosed in utero at 30 weeks.
According to nationwidechildrens.org, “(22q) can affect any system of the body, however most children with 22q have heart, immune, learning, speech, and/or behavior difficulties. Each person with 22q has their own unique needs, and interdisciplinary team care is the best management approach.”
Ever since they learned of their daughter’s diagnosis, Davey Jean’s family has made a great effort to learn about the condition and also advocate for others who have found themselves in a similar situation.
“She had complex open-heart surgery on March 10th of 2014 when she was just 11 weeks old, and we spent 28 days in the hospital recovering. When she was 15 months old, we started speech therapy, physical and occupational therapy and spent like 3 days a week at the hospital,” Brittney explained.
“She had a speech delay so we started signing ASL with her at only 12 months old, but at the age of two and a half we found out that she had hearing loss in both ears which was contributing to her not being able to speak,” she continued. “So she had an ear surgery to help her hearing and then when that didn’t work or help her speech we continued down the path to find some answers and it turned out that she had a problem with her palate as well that has now resulted in 2 surgeries as well.”
Throughout everything, Davey Jean’s love for music has grown stronger and although she couldn’t hear until she was three years old, she still found ways to communicate her passion for country music.
“We are die-hard country fans and she even learned to sign songs before she could actually sing them. She is so charismatic and fun to be around and truly has a Heart Like a truck and a heart of gold,” her mom added, referencing Wilson’s hit single, “Heart Like A Truck.”
Over the course of her life, Davey Jean has endured five surgeries and will require more on her heart in the future. As Brittney explained, she currently lives without a pulmonary valve, but even that didn’t stop her from seeing Wilson live on stage.
After the exciting events of the recent show, Davey Jean’s mom took to her own social media pages to show her gratitude toward Wilson and her kind actions.
She wrote, “I think we are still in shock over the fact that Davey got to get on stage last night with her favorite artist. Mommy, Lee and Santa worked hard to get her these tickets and spent all day making posters in hopes that Lainey would see them. Well, not only did she see them but Davey got to go on stage and get a big hug, a kiss on the head and her poster is now signed for life! Thank you @laineywilsonmusic for making our girl feel how special we already know she is! Your concert was amazing and I’m sure Davey Jean will remember it forever!”
Lainey Wilson kicked off her headlining Country With A Flare Tour on January 4 in Spokane, WI. The trek will continue through March with support from Ben Chapman on the entire run, as well as Leah Blevins and Meg McRee on select dates.