Lily was born 9 weeks premature. She had a bleed inside her brain, which caused hydrocephalus, excess fluid on the brain, meaning Lily had to have two operations, the first when she was just 2 months old and a second, larger operation when she was 4 months old. During the operation, Lily had a shunt fitted, a mechanical device in her brain to drain the excess fluid out of her brain and into her stomach.
Lily also has cerebral palsy, affecting everything on her left hand side, particularly her leg and last year Lily was diagnosed with autism.
She has to have regular hospital appointments to keep an eye on things, but despite everything, Mum, Sally describes Lily as a real character, living life to the full and always laughing and smiling.
Lily’s wish was to go on holiday to Lanzarote with her Mum and Dad. Lily wanted to go on holiday with her family to somewhere warm with a beach and a swimming pool. And she loves aeroplanes, so this was an important part of the wish!
Thanks to our partner Sovereign, Lily had a fun-packed wish!
The fun started on the plane, when an announcement was made over the tannoy that Lily was on her wish. Lily was given her very own crew outfit and name badge and she got to be an air steward for the flight, helping out with the rubbish collection and selling the charity scratch cards.
When the plane landed, Lily and her family got to meet the captain and see inside the cockpit.
The family stayed in a fantastic hotel. Mum Sally said, “The hotel was incredible, it was a 5-star hotel and it really was 5-star; when you pulled up outside it really took your breath away.”
The family were welcomed by the hotel mascot Kiko and Lily was presented with her very own toy Kiko, which she has been playing with since getting back home.
Whilst they were away, the hotel organised a trip for the family to Rancho Texas, a nearby zoo and they arranged for Lily to swim with a sea lion.
Lily’s autism means she has problems with animal interaction, but to her parents’ amazement and disbelief Lily put the wetsuit and shoes on and sat on the edge of the pool and even stroked the sea lion a couple of times, which was a really big step for Lily.
Because Lily had been so brave, staff at the zoo arranged for Lily to get close up to a baby 5-week-old sea lion, which she absolutely loved!
For the rest of the holiday, Lily spent time on the beach and swam in the sea with her Dad and she loved the pool, Sally reminisced that they couldn’t get her out of the pool!
Sally remembered a stand out moment for her, “One of the days I took a step back and just watched Lily in the pool with her Dad and it gave me goosepimples seeing how much she was enjoying herself.”
She added, “From start to finish, the holiday was totally magical, not just for Lily but for all of us. It was the best holiday we’ve ever been on, I cried when I got on the coach to come home as it meant so much to all of us.”
Sally said that the holiday gave them all a chance to forget about hospital appointments and to just enjoy some lovely family time.