Three-year-old Joe Shannon from Halifax is dreaming of a trip to Alton Towers this Christmas.
Joe has a rare genetic condition called Coffin-Siris syndrome, which causes variable degrees of learning disability, developmental delays and distinctive physical features.
Following his birth, Joe’s parents were told that he wouldn’t be able to walk, talk or eat without being tube-fed.
As someone who had worked with children with additional needs, Joe’s mum Lyndsey was devastated at what she knew would lie ahead of them.
It took almost three years to get an official diagnosis so Joe has spent much of his young life undergoing endless tests and interventions.
“Joe was a very poorly baby and the tests were quite invasive,” Lyndsey said.
“At four months he nearly died following sedation for an MRI scan”.
Lyndsey opted to work part-time and pay a team of carers and therapists to come in and support Joe - which means the family enjoy more quality time when they are together.
And now Lyndsey is hoping to take Joe on a special trip to Alton Towers through the Dreams Come True charity.
“As much as I would love to go abroad, Joe wouldn’t cope with the travel and change of environment. He likes to be in familiar surroundings and although he doesn’t mind a day or two away, any longer would be too far out of his comfort zone. Splash parks are ideal because the water is very shallow so he can just be free and enjoy himself without putting himself at risk.”
Richard Ashton, Dreams Come True’s chief executive said: “This getaway would mean a vital break from the strict rota Joe’s parents operate their lives around. The ability to enjoy some quality time with Joe without the pressure of routines, therapies and a constant flow of care professionals through the house would allow them all to create some precious family memories. Importantly, the nature of this particular water park would also allow Joe to play with a degree of freedom he doesn’t normally enjoy.”
To donate to Dreams Come True’s Christmas appeal, please visit www.dreamscometrue.uk.com or Text DREAM1 to 70660.