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Complex heart condition
I wished to go to Lapland and meet Santa

Olivia’s wish to go to Lapland has been granted, thank you so much to her kind supporters!

Five-year-old Olivia lives in Kent with her mum, dad and cat Lizzy. She has an infectious personality - she loves to play outside and make people laugh, but it’s not always been this way. In her short life, Olivia has already fought many battles –she was born with a cleft palette and, at her 20 week scan, Olivia’s mum Jane found out her baby had a complex heart condition.

A long way from home

At just ten days old, Olivia had her poorly heart operated on. Later, she had surgery on her cleft palette. Olivia has to spend a lot of time in hospital, away from home, friends and family, but Jane says Olivia always finds a way of looking at things positively. “Hospital appointments in London involve travelling a long way from home for us but Olivia loves visiting the city, and we always try to make it as fun as possible for her. It has been hard for us as parents to see our little girl through so much, knowing she has more surgery ahead to ensure her fragile heart can cope as she grows.”

Olivia on a skidoo in the snow in Lapland

A wish for snow angels and huskies

Jane says “We turned to Make-A-Wish to give Olivia something to look forward to that’s not hospital – something fun." Olivia’s wished to visit Lapland and meet Santa. Before she went, Olivia told us that she was most looking to seeing the huskies and making snow angels. She also told us she wanted to help the elves to make toys for other children.

As Olivia gets older, she is becoming evermore curious and is beginning to ask her mum and dad lots of questions about her condition. She even took one of her scans into school to show her class this year. After an imaginably tough start to life, five-year-old Olivia’s trip to Lapland gave her and her family special memories to last a lifetime.

Respite, fun and togetherness

Wishgranter Vicky arranged everything so that Olivia, her mum and her dad could enjoy a magical time of respite, fun and togetherness in Lapland.

Olivia with mum and dad on a sleigh in the snow

Olivia had been all packed up weeks before a plane whisked her and her family off to Lapland, and they all felt like Olivia needed something to look forward to.

The trip was off to a magical start when the plane they boarded was festively decorated and even the flight attendants were dressed up!

A magical sight

When they arrived in Lapland at 5pm, it was already dark outside and Olivia didn’t even have time to unpack before it was time to hop on a sleigh and go sledging through the snow. The magic continued later that night, when the family caught a glimpse of the Northern Lights dancing in the sky.

They all woke up the next morning not knowing what adventures lay ahead, but Olivia soon found herself on an exciting search for none other than Father Christmas himself! After dropping off her letter to Santa with one of his helpful elves, she finally found him and was in awe of him the entire time – Even Olivia’s mum believes in Santa after meeting him in Lapland!

Olivia looking up at father christmas

The next day, the family went on snowmobiles, played with huskies and fed reindeer. Even Olivia’s dad turned into a big kid when he was playing in the snow!

A lasting impact

Meeting Santa made them all so excited for Christmas that, as soon as they returned home, they put up the Christmas tree. Not only this, but the family returned home with renewed confidence, strength and hope for Olivia’s future.

Olivia couldn’t choose a favourite memory from her wish, as it was all just so special and magical. But she will remember her wish and it will give her happy memories and something other than hospital treatment to talk about. Her mum says that she felt like “it made up for all the times she has missed out on.”

We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who donated to help make Olivia’s Christmas wish possible! 

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Accommodation £2,900; Meals £230; Expenses £185; Transport £80; Total £3,395

Sponsored donations made towards a child’s wish will go towards their One True Wish. If a child’s wish receives over funding the additional donations will be put towards a similar wish. If a child's wish doesn't reach 100% funding their wish will still take place and general funds will be used.