10 year-old Joseph from Stockport was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2, a progressive neuromuscular disease.
This means that Joseph is unable to walk and uses a wheelchair to get around. Everyday tasks are impossible for him; his Mum and Dad are his arms and legs, helping him to pick up heavy things as his muscles are extremely weak.
There are tough times for all the family, but they live life to the full and try to remain positive at all times.
When Joseph turned to us, he decided his wish was to ride in a hot air balloon because he always wanted to fly and thought it would be nice to be up above the clouds!
As the weather is so critical to balloon flights, sadly Joseph and his family had a couple of failed attempts before they got to take their flight, but luckily on 1st June the weather was on their side and despite being overcast, they got the OK for the balloon to take off!
The day before the flight, Joseph, his Mum and Dad, younger sister Emily and younger brother Thomas drove down to stay overnight in a hotel local to the flight centre.
Everyone was really excited about staying over in a hotel and they enjoyed a lovely family meal the night before.
When the big day arrived, the family woke up at 5am to drive to the airfield where they were met by the crew from Exclusive Ballooning.
The huge balloon was unrolled and Joseph and his family watched as a huge fan helped with blowing the balloon up, which took about half an hour. Joseph’s younger siblings even ran inside the balloon as it was being blown up!
When the balloon was ready, Joseph wheeled into the basket, which was quite a snug fit with the pilot, Dad James and sister Emily.
Watch the moment when they took off!
Then the pilot fired up the gas and they were up into the air, flying over the local towns and villages. Joseph described how the people looked really tiny from up above!
Joseph’s dad James described how it was really peaceful and quiet up in the balloon, they could even hear younger brother Thomas crying from the ground as he wanted to go up in the balloon, and Mum Nicola said that she could hear Joseph and Emily’s voices from the ground when they were about a mile away!
Joseph said, “My favourite bit was taking the balloon up through the fluffy white clouds, so that they were flying above the clouds in the bright blue sky.”
They also watched the bright orange sunrise whilst they were up above the clouds and saw some low flying ducks!
Joseph was a little nervous about landing, but thanks to the pilot they had a safe landing and they all enjoyed a truly fantastic experience.
Speaking about the wish, Joseph’s Dad James said, “It was really lovely to have a break as a family and spend some nice time together. The trip was a real privilege and it was really nice to be looked after so well and exciting for the children and for the whole family.”