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‘A dream come true:’ Richfield girl with congestive heart failure gets her very own backyard train! 🚆

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RICHFIELD -- Make-A-Wish Wisconsin and Hamilton High School students came together to grant the wish of a Richfield girl battling a heart condition.

"This is like a dream come true for her," said Raphaela Gehrung, Raphi's mother.

About two years ago, the 16-year-old from Richfield was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

"They said that she would need a transplant, but she wasn't a candidate," said Raphaela Gehrung.

That's when Make-A-Wish Wisconsin hopped on board.

"There's nothing better than seeing a child the moment they receive that wish," said Forrest Doolen, director of marketing and communications for Make-A-Wish Wisconsin.

Raphi's wish was granted on Sunday, July 22.

"She just loves riding trains," said Raphaela Gehrung.

Robert and Raphaela Gehrung

In her backyard, beyond all the smiling faces was a personalized locomotive, waiting for its conductor. Nearby on the 'platform' was assorted candy and root beer floats for the passengers.

"It fit perfect. She can get into the bucket without a problem, and the biggest thing is that she can ride it with her cousins," said Robert Gehrung, Raphi's father.

Several Hamilton High School students helped get the train on its tracks -- raising nearly $4,000.

Josh Pfeifer

"It hadn't really clicked until we saw her riding that train. It's like, we did something. We made something happen," said Josh Pfeifer, Hamilton High School student.

"She's going to have tons and tons and tons of fun on this. This is just great for her. We're probably going to have to pull her off before bed," said Raphaela Gehrung.

The train, custom built in Ohio and shipped to Wisconsin is Raphi's to keep. Her wish was one of almost 400 wishes that Make-A-Wish Wisconsin is granting this year.

CLICK HERE to support this effort.

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