Festival of Trees showcases 11-year-old who persevered against the odds

Nov 29, 2022, 6:50 PM | Updated: 7:59 pm

SANDY, Utah — In the spirit of giving, the Festival of Trees raises money to help patients at Primary Children’s Hospital.

It truly is a gift to see all the beautifully decorated trees in person – for the first time since 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For one Utah family, this year is extra special.

In a sea of unique Christmas trees, Brailey Partida looks for ones with ladybugs.

The 11-year-old is the “Patient Champion of the Festival of the Trees.”

Six years ago, she was life-flighted to Primary Children’s Hospital.

“She was on a riding lawnmower with her grandmother, and she dropped a shoe,” recalled Jacob Partida, Brailey’s dad. “My mother-in-law accidentally backed over her.”

Brailey lost her right leg below her knee. She spent 28 days in the hospital.

“As a parent, the hardest thing is to see your child hurt and struggling because all you can do is be there. You wish it was you,” Jacob said.

Today, he’s grateful to be walking alongside his daughter, and he says it’s all thanks to Primary Children’s Hospital.

“We had social workers. Every resource at our fingertips you could imagine,” Jacob explained. “They have music there. They have pet therapy. They brought in Disney characters.”

The Festival of Trees is a testament to all the volunteers who give their time and talents to create these masterpieces that are auctioned off, with all the proceeds benefitting kids like Brailey.

“Now, six years later, Brailey plays sports. She plays basketball. She plays soccer. She swims in our pool all summer,” said Jacob. “It’ll always have a special place in our heart for our family.

The event kicks off Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy. Doors open at 10 a.m., and the festival runs through Saturday, Dec. 2.

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Festival of Trees showcases 11-year-old who persevered against the odds