The biggest school formal fairytale of this crazy year
For Mackenziee Lawler, nothing compares to walking into her formal while being able to wear high heels for the first time in her life.
The 18-year-old graduate of Emmaus College in Logan has cerebral palsy, but last night walked in high heels after undergoing over 40 operations and several years of treatment at Queensland Children's Hospital.
In February, before COVID-19 started to take its devastating toll on the state, the vibrant teenager told The Courier-Mail her dream was to walk in heels for her formal.
But her mother Raelene said the pandemic had come at the right time.
"COVID actually came at the perfect time - for Mackie as much as we still would have got the formal she would have still been in a heck of a lot of pain," she said.
"She's had another knee surgery in among all this … in 12 months she's had three knee surgeries."
But Mackenziee was determined to wear her "Dorothy vibe" red heels, and convinced her friends and school she was wearing a different colour.
"I actually wasn't expecting to pick out a black dress, I was going in for a pink one, but I came out with a black one," she said.
"Nobody knew the colour of my dress - I convinced them for the past 10 months it was pink.
"I'm very excited to be finishing school."
A key to her success was her lifelong building of a relationship with Queensland Children's Hospital physiotherapist Dr Tim McGowan.
"Tim's been with her her whole life - that usually doesn't happen," Raelene said.
Mackenziee will start a Bachelor of Communication and Journalism at University of Southern Queensland in March.
Originally published as The biggest school formal fairytale of this crazy year