Family and friends celebrate local teen's acting debut

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - A local teenager is celebrating the role of a lifetime with a lot of help from family and friends.

Source: ABC

Kaydence Patton walked the red carpet in Meridian Tuesday night.

"It was crazy, and it was, like, awesome to see all my friends, and I was a little nervous," Kaydence said.

The 13-year-old has always dreamed of being an actress. But for a while, her parents weren't just worried about whether she'd make it as an actress. They were worried about whether she'd make it at all.

"I'm just looking at this child I only held for like 30 minutes, and they tell me she's going to have to have open heart surgery by the end of the week. So it was very, very, very tough," Prochorus Patton recalls from the day his daughter was born.

Kaydence was born with a heart condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

"I have watched Kaydence go through more than most people watch their children go through in their entire lives," said her mom, Tanyera Patton.

After multiple surgeries and a lot of prayer, this once-sick little baby is larger than life.

That's where Make-a-Wish stepped in.

"When we received the packet from our wish granters for Kaydence's wish, her first choice was that she wanted to be an actress on TV," director of program services Vera Johnson said.

So they made it happen. Make-a-Wish teamed up with ABC to help land this budding actress a role on "The Rookie."

A quick trip to Hollywood later, Kaydence got the full star treatment.

"It was awesome, and seeing how the actors received her, that was awesome," her grandmother, Dorothy Brown Noble, said.

A huge crowd of family and friends made it to the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience Tuesday night for a special viewing party. Kaydence was brought in by motorcade, where she walked the red carpet, signed autographs and finally watched her big debut.

"That was crazy to see myself on the screen. I had to pinch myself like no, it's not happening," said Kaydence.

You haven't seen the last of her. She says this is only the beginning.

Check back later Wednesday night to hear a special video from more of Kaydence's family and friends.

Kaydence Patton makes her acting debut on The Rookie, airing at 9 p.m. Dec. 4 on ABC and WTOK-TV (Source:
Kaydence Patton, of Meridian, Miss., and Nathan Fillion, star of The Rookie (Source: