Jay Barrett of West Haven was born with cystic fibrosis and only expected to live into his early teens. Now 44 years old, his future is uncertain with his lungs failing.
He and his sister, Bridgette Hoskie, have been working on a bucket list.
Barrett, who is a big supporter of President Donald Trump, suggested a trip to Washington, D.C., and maybe a presidential sighting. Then the pair decided to think bigger — a meeting with President Donald Trump.
Hoskie, who is a local councilwoman and a Democrat, turned to social media for help to fulfill her brother's wish. In a Facebook post published Feb. 26, Hoskie wrote that she wanted to make "something on my brother’s bucket list a reality," and asked users to message her privately because it was a "secret/surprise." Through private messages, Hoskie asked volunteers to write to Trump and ask him to contact her brother.
On Tuesday, Barrett received a personal phone call from the president.
The president told Barrett he heard of his "beautiful" story and knew he had to call him. The two offered words of encouragement to each other, with Barret telling Trump he's supported him through "thick and thin, and you know there's been a lot of thick."
"You're my kind of man, Jay...I'm very proud of you," Trump said. "You keep that fight going; we both fight."
Barrett, who is currently in home hospice care, said he knows a trip to Washington would be tough, but it would be worth it to meet the president.
“If you can pencil me in, I’ll find a way to get there,” he told Trump.
The president told Barrett he wanted to get him out to a rally, and said that the next time there was one in the area, he’d plan to have Barrett "front and center."
"That was pretty crazy. I just talked to the president of the United States on the phone," Barrett commented as the call ended.
Over the weekend, Barrett also received a call from Housing and Urban Development executive Lynne Patton. Patton organized a call with president Trump's son Eric Trump and said she plans to visit Barrett this weekend.