ATLANTA (WXIA) -- An adorable 3-year-old boy received the surprise of his life on Wednesday.
Will Markwell has been teaching his mom and dad since the day he was born. His first lesson was a bit of a surprise.
"We did not know, prior to him being born, that he has Down syndrome," said his father.
Will has taught his parents that a diagnosis does not determine a level of happiness.
"He's super smart, super funny – always in a good mood, loves people," said Will's mom, Casie.
During a routine procedure a few weeks ago, doctors found a hole in the middle of his heart. On Friday, he'll undergo open heart surgery.
The days leading up to surgery have been painful to his parents, but not for Will. He's been busy being captivated by 11Alive's weather forecast.
"His obsessions started when he was Ella, his little sister's age – 9 or 10 months," said his mother. "Every time he would hear the music, the chimes play, he would direct his attention straight to the TV and just start smiling, start pointing and start laughing."
No matter what Will is doing, when 11Alive's weather and Chesley McNeil come on, he stops and starts watching. He especially loves the WIZometer.
"We talk about the number every day, and what the weather's going to be like," said Casie Markwell.
This Wednesday, Will had an unforgettable encounter at 11Alive. He met Chesley and saw the WIZometer in person. He also received his very own MINI Cooper, courtesy of Toys"R"Us, as well as other surprises from Chick-fil-A, the Georgia Aquarium, the Atlanta Braves and Georgia Tech.
The surprise visit to 11Alive was Will's parents' way of giving back to the boy who has taught them everything in just three years.
"He has this beautiful way of putting life into perspective," his mom said. "Every day is more beautiful because of him."
MORE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS FROM WILL'S BIG DAY: http://on.11alive.com/1rqno7m