Money raised to send Weston boy on 'trip of a lifetime'

VIDEO: £30k Fundraiser met to send 5-year-old to Florida's Animal Kingdom

Sean Kelly has raised more than £30,000 to send Arthur on his dream holiday. - Credit: Sean Kelly

A Weston-super-Mare family has thanked everyone who supported an appeal to raise £30,000 to send their five-year-old son on his dream holiday to Florida.

Arthur has congenital bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria, a rare neurological disorder causing cerebral palsy, and bilateral vocal cord palsy.

Arthur's condition means he requires around-the-clock supervision as he can choke on his saliva at any given time and can have multiple seizures throughout the day and night.

Family friend, Sean Kelly, first learned of the severity of Arthur's condition while speaking with his parents, Melanie and Marcelo, and decided to shave his famous beard and hair to send the family on Arthur's dream holiday to the Animal Kingdom resort in the US.

Weston boy going on dream Florida holiday after £30k fundraiser.

Sean with Arthur and his family after the big shave. - Credit: Sean Kelly

He originally wanted to raise £10,000 for the dream holiday, but generous donors helped him to raise three times that amount.

Mr Kelly, from Weston, said: "Once lockdown allowed us, we held a ceremony at the Old Kings' Head Pub, in Worle, and I was gobsmacked by the turnout.

"After reaching the first target, we realised that, with Covid restrictions, more money would be needed to afford the trip so we set £15,000 which was raised very quickly.

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"On the day, Arthur and his family were there and they are such a lovely unit and they always pull together - this was a bucket list moment for me and I doubt I will ever beat this."

Weston man raises £30k after shaving famous beard and hair.

Around £500 was raised at the Old Kings Head, in Worle, where the big shave was held. - Credit: Sean Kelly

In total, £30,050 has been raised for Arthur through Sean's fundraiser.

Arthur's mum, Melanie, stated that he is to undergo surgery soon and that the family will wait until he has fully recovered before booking the holiday.

She told the Mercury: "As you can imagine, it has been an unbelievably heart-warming event in our lives. Firstly, that Sean and others would go to such efforts to pursue this dream for Arthur and us.

"Also, to see friends and strangers coming together in amazing generosity and love for our beautiful boy and to give us the trip of a lifetime and make memories together is special."