SAN DIEGO - A 44-year-old Wyoming woman was granted her final wish to interact with dolphins at Sea World, giving her in her words, "reason to continue fighting to stay alive."
Linda Herdt was just told she has less than six months to live. She has for many years been battling end-stage pulmonary fibrosis.
“I am in bed all of the time,” she said. “The only time I get to get out of bed is Walmart and that's maybe once a month. My disease does not let me get up and function anymore.”
On Saturday, the Dream Foundation granted her wish to interact with dolphins at Sea World San Diego.
“Elated, very elated,” she said. “I was just on this high that I could not imagine ever being here before. They know when we're hurting or when we're sick or when something is wrong. They just know.”
Herdt says what she experienced Saturday was life-changing and will help her continue on in her fight against a disease that should have killed her long ago.
“I have beat this by 17 years,” she said. “They said the lifespan, the diagnosis is three to five years and I've beat it by 17 years.”
Saturday's experience has also motivated her to help others.
Herdt says when she returns home to Wyoming, she wants to give back in a big way.
“If I can help grant that one wish to somebody else and help them, then I want to,” she said. “I want to help that legacy.”
Herdt's final wish was actually two parts. She will also get to see the ocean for the first time before she returns home.