SOUTH PORTLAND – In almost Hollywood fashion, Nicole Guerrette arrived in a stretch limousine, walked on a red carpet and heard the applause of well-wishers and admirers.

The 13-year-old from Pittston was living a dream — an all-out shop-a-thon at the Maine Mall.

Guerrette survived a machete attack during a home invasion on May 27, 2008, that left her and her father with severe injuries. Her skull was fractured and she developed a bone infection. She suffered deep cuts and permanent brain injuries.

But that was then. On Friday, she bravely entered a waiting crowd of well-wishers, spectators and members of the media at Macy’s, looking happy and ready to do some shopping.

It all was made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which is well known for its mission of granting wishes to children who are terminally ill or facing other serious challenges.

Lisa Gleeson of the Make-A-Wish Foundation said the organization grants a wish to a Maine child every five days on average. The program is funded through local donations, she said. Granting one wish costs about $6,000.

“This is an extra special day for Macy’s and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, as it is the National Believe Day,” Gleeson said. “That’s when Macy’s will donate $1 to the foundation for each letter written to Santa via the special mailboxes in their stores.”

Guerrette’s entourage for Friday’s spree included her mother, Melanie; her 18-year-old sister, Ashley; and her 14-year-old cousin, Courtney Perry of Pittston.

Their first stop early Friday morning was a salon in Portland, for a manicure. They arrived at the mall shortly after 10 a.m.

After their greeting, Guerrette and her family were ushered to the cosmetics counter at Macy’s, where they all received makeovers.

“I’m so surprised!” said Guerrette, pink facial scars from the attack still visible, after hopping up on a stool. “I didn’t know we were going to the nail salon or have this done. It’s an amazement for me.”

Guerrette said she is home-schooled now and doesn’t have much of a social life, “so this, for me, is great, just to get away from everything.”

Ashley Guerrette said her sister doesn’t just love to shop — it’s her favorite thing.

“We didn’t expect it to be so cool,” she said. “We didn’t know there would be so many people here greeting her. We thought it would be just us bopping around. It’s sweet.”

Guerrette’s mother said the family had been working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation since her daughter was admitted to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland for one of her eight surgeries.

She said her daughter has had to deal not only with her physical injuries, but with the emotional scars as well.

“I told her the way she smiled when we came in here is very rare,” Melanie Guerrette said. “I haven’t seen her smile like that for a really long time. This is such a positive thing. After so many negatives, this is just awesome.”

In June, Daniel Fortune of Augusta was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the attack on Guerrette and her father, William Guerrette Jr. Fortune said it was his roommate and foster brother, Leo Hylton, who maimed the two. Hylton pleaded guilty in the home invasion and was sentenced in February to 50 years in prison.

During her day at the mall, Guerrette said she wanted to buy items including new sneakers, Ugg boots and a PlayStation 3.

After the makeover, she hugged and thanked everybody and headed to the first store on her list, the Build-A-Bear Workshop.

She picked out a pink bear and a green frog with pink cheeks and wide eyes.

Guerrette and the girls recorded messages for their teddy bears and frog on a tiny device that the clerk placed inside each, along with stuffing.

Then they picked out wardrobes for their new furry friends. Guerrette chose pink panties and a polka-dot dress for her bear. She dressed the bear while onlookers and cameramen waited for her to move on to the next store.

She said she felt spoiled, but admitted she enjoyed it.

“I really have to say thank you to Make-A-Wish,” she said. “They have done so much for me. I want to do something for them after this is all over. I want to put on a banquet and raise money for them.”