Can a dolphin save a life? Just ask Stephanie Evans. Stephanie is twenty-one years old and has a major genetic disorder that causes many problems, including serious liver and kidney damage, putting her on the national organ transplant list. Four years ago, while vacationing with her mom and sister, waiting for the transplant call, they happened upon Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Little did they know that stop would change Stephanie’s life.
Stephanie connected to Winter’s overcoming survival story in a life-changing way. Stephanie’s kidney problem required she drink a large amount of water, which she refused to do. She also did not want to eat much. Stephanie saw how Winter lived a normal life while being different and having endured many medical procedures herself. Even the Dolphin Tale actors got behind encouraging Stephanie to eat and drink more. The result? Stephanie’s mom would bring her to CMA every few months because she ate and drank better after a visit with Winter. Winter was essentially helping Stephanie stay alive as she waited for the transplant, which finally happened in fall 2016. Stephanie is in recovery today and still stays in touch with David Yates daily via text.
Winter’s story has inspired millions of people all over the world! Read more inspirational stories.