Dolly Parton gives woman with Down syndrome trip of a lifetime

Jackie Carroll was flown to Dollywood along with her caregivers to meet Dolly Parton and spend the weekend in East Tennessee.
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 7:54 PM EDT
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SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) - At Cox Health in Springfield, Missouri, there’s one of the biggest Dolly Parton fans you’ll ever meet. Her name is Jackie Carroll.

According to Jackie Carroll’s niece Callie Carroll, Jackie Carroll has been a fan of older country music since she was little but latched on to Parton’s music and persona after hearing hits like “9 to 5″ and “Coat of Many Colors.”

Living with Down syndrome, Jackie Carroll spends most days singing some of Parton’s biggest hits as a music therapy exercise that helps her stay sharp and active while living in hospice care.

“That’s kind of how this all came about her music therapist would sing Dolly songs with her all the time,” said Callie Carroll.

For years, Jackie Carroll has had a Parton-themed bedroom, which included pictures on the walls and even a Parton-themed bedspread.

Jackie Carroll is so passionate about Parton that the East Tennessee icon found out about Jackie Carroll’s story and decided to fly her and her healthcare providers out to Dollywood for Mother’s Day weekend. Parton even met Jackie Carroll and took pictures with her in the process.

“The only thing she’ll talk about is Dolly so it’s not much different than before she left, but now it’s about her meeting Dolly,” said Callie Carroll.

It was the weekend of a lifetime for one of Parton’s biggest fans as Jackie Carroll’s family now will only think of Parton fonder.

“If we were unsure that Dolly was the queen before it’s solidified that Dolly is just an amazing human,” said Callie Carroll.

Parton also sent Jackie Carroll home with a few signed gifts that the Missouri native has proudly displayed in her room.