Six-year-old Niall was born with a degenerative neurological condition which has left him blind and unable to walk or speak. Hish wish was to go on holiday with his family.
Niall, his mum, dad and 16 year old sister Charis live in a small village in Northern Ireland. When Niall’s mum Helen turned to Make-A-Wish, she told us how his condition makes even simple daily tasks difficult, and she has given up her job to care for Niall full-time.
Last year, when he was five, Niall started communicating with very simple words, which has been a major development for the whole family, as he can now let them know if he’s hungry or in pain.
Helen told us that Niall loves being outside and playing in water and they all felt that a family trip to somewhere warm would be a welcome change for everyone, especially Niall.
So, Niall’s Wishgranter, Jamie, set to work booking the holiday of a lifetime, making lots of special arrangements for all Niall’s equipment and making sure he could enjoy as many activities with his family as possible - especially playing in the warm water.
Last summer, thanks to the help of Disabled Holidays, a travel company who specialise in organising holidays for people living with disabilities, we sent Niall and his family on an extra-special week-long all-inclusive trip to the beautiful island of Lanzarote!
They spent seven days exploring the island; going for walks every night and visiting the local market. When they strolled down the beach, Niall absolutely loved the noise of the crashing waves!
Niall also spent a lot of time in the pool, splashing around and chilling on his floating boat. At one point, he even tried to stand up in the water, something he would never normally do. “He was in his element!” Helen told us. Niall’s wish gave him courage to try new things and gave the whole family hope for Niall’s future and happy memories to give them strength in difficult times.
After a magical week in the sun, the family boarded a plane back home to Northern Ireland. Looking back, wish mum Helen told us that the whole experience was fantastic, and that the staff at the accommodation couldn’t have been more helpful.
Most importantly though, she says that Niall absolutely loved playing in the water, forgetting about the pain and struggles he faces daily, which is what it was all about.
Niall’s wish was funded thanks to a grant from Cash For Kids Northern Ireland.