Dream Disney trip for Oliver

PUBLISHED: 08:56 21 December 2006 | UPDATED: 10:22 24 May 2010

CHRISTMAS came early for a Cheddar child when he was sent on a dream holiday to Disneyland. Oliver suffers from a life-threatening form of epilepsy and has to wear a helmet to protect him during seizures and uses a wheelchair most of the time. The nine

CHRISTMAS came early for a Cheddar child when he was sent on a dream holiday to Disneyland. Oliver suffers from a life-threatening form of epilepsy and has to wear a helmet to protect him during seizures and uses a wheelchair most of the time. The nine-year-old, of Westacre Road, was sent on the trip of a lifetime thanks to the Starlight charity, which grants wishes for kids with serious illnesses. Mum Nicola Garland said: "Our paediatric consultant asked if he could recommend us to a charity that give holidays to sick children. He thought we deserved a break."The charity Starlight then gave us a three day holiday to Disneyland Paris."Ollie is a huge fan of Teletubbies and particularly enjoyed the Alice in Wonderland hedge maze. Nicola said: "We pushed him around in his wheelchair. He loved that."The youngster is also passionate about planes. Nicola's dad used to regularly take Oliver to Bristol International Airport before he died. Nicola said: "He loved watching aeroplanes with his grandad, which is why he enjoyed the Peter Pan ride. The ride is a ship that seems to fly up into the sky. He loved the sense of flying and all the lights around him." Nicola's other children Tyler, aged 11 and six-year-old Elliot also enjoyed the holiday, and were given spending money from the charity to buy toys and clothes at Disneyland.Oliver was diagnosed with West Syndrome when he was 11-months-old, which later developed into epilepsy. Oliver has several types of seizure, the worst form being 'drop attacks' which means he falls straight to the floor head first. He also has a mild form of autism and doesn't speak very much. Oliver's school Avalon, a special school in Street, has this week been performing the school nativity in which Oliver plays a shepherd. Nicola said: "He has been practising all week, but he missed one rehearsal because he fell asleep.""He's now the Sleepy Shepherd."The family is now waiting for Oliver's surgery in the New Year, which has a 50 per cent chance of improving his seizures. The operation is Vagal Nerve Stimulation, which has proven to be most effective in children with epilepsy. However, it will not cure his disease but will hopefully make his seizures less stressful. Nicola added: "The whole family enjoyed the trip to Disney. "It was a very tiring few days, and we weren't sure if Ollie would like the plane journey, but I know he loved everything."l For more information on Starlight, visit www.starlight.org.uk

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