A Coalisland school boy has fulfilled every child’s Christmas dream by taking a magical journey to Lapland, where he rode a husky sleigh and even managed to get his Elf Diploma!
Luke O’Hanlon and his mum Claire were among a group of families who left on a specially chartered flight to Santa’s winter wonderland with the Northern Ireland Children to Lapland Trust.
The charity takes around 150 terminally and seriously ill children to Lapland annually.
Luke, who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, was nominated by his neuro muscular nurse at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Isobel Douglas.
Describing the trip as “amazing” and the perfect way to have fun with her little boy, Claire told the TIMES:
“Luke decorated a Gingerbread Man, went to Elf school and got his Elf Diploma, visited Santa, had a train ride through the winter wonderland and Santa’s workshop. When all the inside activities were done, we got into our snow gear and headed outside where the real fun was to be had.
“Luke looked like a wee Michelin man in snow gear that was huge on him but he was in his element having husky dog rides, reindeer rides, sledding, the snow mobiles and just mucking about in the snow with his mummy!”
Claire added, however: “The beginning and end of the trip felt a little bittersweet because you knew that every child there faced challenges that no child should ever have to face but every one of them were so excited leaving Belfast and were so happy (and half asleep) on the way home. The trust definitely fulfilled their wish to give every child a day to remember.”