SIDNEY — The house was packed as Dylan Scott was welcomed to the stage at the Shelby County Fair July 28.
But for a Xenia resident, the evening was extra special as he got to meet his favorite country singer.
Brycen Marshall, 7, son of Nicole and Ben Marshall, knew he was going to see Dylan Scott in concert. What he didn’t know until he arrived at the fairgrounds, was that he was going to meet the singer before the concert. A Special Wish Foundation of Dayton made arrangements with Scott’s agent and the fair board to make the wish a reality.
“It’s awesome for anybody to call (to meet him) It’s really cool. It’s also very special for the kids,” said Scott before meeting Brycen.
A bit shy when meeting Scott, Brycen smiled as he had his photograph taken with the singer. After visiting for a few moments, it was time to get ready to hear and watch Scott during his performance.
“”We weren’t able to get to our seats because everyone rushed the stage,” said Nicole after the concert. “We stood by the side of the stage and watched the show. We got some great photos.”
Brycen said he had a great time and his favorite songs performed by Scott were “Lay it on Me” and Hooked.”
After the show, Scott’s guitarist gave Brycen the guitar pick he used during the show. The pair did a fist bump at the end of the exchange.
The Marshalls said they are grateful for the experience Brycen had Friday night. Brycen said the concert wasn’t long enough.
Brycen became a fan of Scott thanks to the Internet.
“Mommy has Dylan Scott on youtube,” said Brycen on how he became a fan of the country singer.
“He found it and wouldn’t quit listening to him,” said his parents. “Dylan Scott was on his birthday cake too.”
Brycen, who will be in the first-grade this fall, was born with half a heart when he was born in 2010.
“He had two reconstruction surgeries,” said Ben. “But they weren’t successful.”
Brycen was 9 1/2 months old when he received a heart transplant in 2011.
When Nicole was 34 weeks pregnant with Brycen, doctors discovered that he would be born with half a heart.
“It was pretty scary,” said Nicole.
When Brycen was seven hours old, he was transferred to Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati.
“To get a newborn heart is almost impossible,” said Nicole. “The weight of the donor can be up to twice what the recipient weighs. Brycen weighed 14 pounds, so his donor had to weigh between 14 and 28 pounds.”
When Brycen was 14 months old, he developed a lung abscess and the medication he received caused him to lose his hearing five weeks later. He was fitted with hearing aids and received his first cochlear implant in 2014. He received his second one in 2017.
“We’ve noticed a big difference since he received his second one,” said Nicole.
The Marshalls said music has always soothed Brycen since the time he was born.
“When he was in the hospital, we’d turn on the music and it would calm him down,” said Nicole.
And being deaf hasn’t stopped Brycen from wanting to learn to play instruments and sing.
“He tries to play the guitar … He also tries to sing. He remembers most of the words of the songs,” said Nicole.
In addition to receiving his second cochlear implant this year, Brycen has also had two eye surgeries.
“He had lasik done on one eye,” said Ben. “And a lens implant on the other eye.”
“They found out he was blind in one eye,” said Nicole. “The surgery was done in April and he’s not where we were hoping he’d be at this point.”
“But he’s far from blind now,” said Ben.
“He’s seeing at 80 percent vs 350 percent,” she said.
Because of all the surgeries he’s gone through this year, Nicole called Tyler Gregory with A Special Wish Foundation of Dayton to see if Brycen could have a special wish granted.
“He’s had five procedures in seven months,” said Nicole. “I called them and asked for their help. They called back in an hour and said it was all arranged.”