Tori rests in her bed when the knock at the hospital room door comes. She recognizes several stars of Dolphin Tale, the No. 1 hit movie from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, as they enter the room.
Tori, 13, is an actress as well, playing the lead role in the nationally traveling musical Annie in 2016-2017. She has done a TV commercial with former NFL star, Peyton Manning, and also has done several commercials with Disney and Universal Studios.
On this day, the girl from Sarasota, Florida, anticipates a gallbladder removal and has a chance encounter with the Dolphin Tale team, which regularly visits Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital.
“I thought it was a set-up, and they knew who she was,” says Tori’s mom, Jenifer.
Instead, it was a “things happen for a reason” moment. The stars share their trials and tribulations of pursuing their dreams. Tori shares her love for being on stage and acting. An instant connection forms. The stars arrange for a FaceTime meeting for Tori with Cozi Zuehlsdorff, who plays Hazel in Dolphin Tale. She also started her career playing Annie.
Nathan Gamble, who plays Sawyer in Dolphin Tale, ends the inspirational conversation with a prayer. He is now in Bible college–and reinforced in his emotional message, “God is exactly where he needs you to be right now.”
Tears form in Jenifer's eyes.