At school, teachers call six-year-old Anna "mermaid," and she beams with a smile.
She got this nickname, not because of the nautical, pearl necklace she wears or her long wavy hair, but because last year, she had her wish granted to became one of these undersea beauties.
No one would guess that, in such a small number of years, Anna has undergone nearly a dozen surgeries for her congenital heart disease - one that makes her little body work extra hard every day to live and play.
But Anna's mom said that hasn't stopped her from dreaming.
After Anna was qualified to receive a wish, the family met with wish-granting volunteers. When they asked her what she wanted, Anna proclaimed, "I want to be a mermaid."
Anna's mom admitted that she was surprised; "I thought, 'Well, that's a new one.'"
As it turned out, Anna's wish couldn't have been a better fit.
"She's a little fish in the summer," Anna's mom said. "We need to be somewhere we can cool her down because her body doesn't regulate temperature."
With that in mind, the family took off for Boca Raton, Fla., to grant Anna's marine dream. As she walked along the beach, Anna saw real-life mermaids in the distance.
"Look! I see them! I see them over there!" she exclaimed with excitement.
Anna was thrilled to meet her favorite mythical creature, and with a tail of her own, she was ready to dive in the water.
"It's amazing. If you knew how far she's come from how sick she has been, to this healthy six-year-old who just wants to run around and swim with mermaids," Anna's mom told WPTV reporters. "It's awe-inspiring."
But that was only the beginning of her wish as a mermaid. Anna was eager to learn more about her favorite mythical creature, and with the help of reporters at WPTV, she became a mermaid newscaster and interviewed the other two mermaids. She asked questions like, "What music do you like?" and "Can you dance with your tail?"
Anna's mom described her daughter as a "star," and said that her and her husband were touched to see their child's wish come true.
"I'm speechless, honestly. She amazes us everyday with just her ability to bounce back from everything and continue to be a normal kid," Anna's mom told reporters.
This wish gave Anna a chance to live without the limits of her condition and continues to make an impact on her today.
"She still talks about her wish all the time," Anna's mom said. "The mermaids gave her a matching necklace and she never takes it off…This experience will stay with her for the rest of her life."