'Wheel of Fortune' Hosts Give Terminally Ill Superfan, 9, His Dream Day
Eric Piburn, who was born with a congenital heart defect, was taken on a trip to WTSP's studios in Tampa and was flabbergasted when the hosts of his favorite game show, Pat Sajak and Vanna White, suddenly appeared on a screen.
"Holy moly!" he cried.
The youngster squealed with joy as he quizzed the hosts about the show's secrets. They then lit up the game board with the message: "Wheel of Fortune Loves Eric Piburn."
"This is everything to him," his mom Randi told WTSP.
Eric is a "Wheel of Fortune" superfan, the channel explained. He passes time during hospital stays by watching the show, which he records each night.
He plays the show's game on his iPad and owns the board game, too.
“This is how I taught him his letters,” Randi added.
Eric has undergone four open-heart surgeries and if he doesn't get a heart and double-lung transplant, he will die.
"Basically we’re sitting on borrowed time at the moment," Randi said. "It's a hard pill to swallow."
Last year, Eric told the Make-A-Wish Foundation that he wanted to meet Vanna and Pat and meeting the hosts was incredibly uplifting for Eric and his family.
After chatting with the hosts, he left with a stack of gifts.
"I think this is something that we’re going to be talking about for a very long time," his mom told WTSP.