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“I wish to go to Anfield and watch Liverpool play”
9 years old, Bristol
Congenital heart defect
After enduring life-saving surgery for a heart condition, football fan Archie’s wish to watch his favourite team play transported him from the sidelines to the terraces, where he could sing the club’s anthem with all the other fans and lap up the atmosphere.
Archie, from Bristol, was born with complex heart defects including dextrocardia, which means his heart is positioned the wrong way round and points to the right side of his chest instead of the left.
He’s had four operations and at one stage, he was given just a 20% chance of survival. He needed emergency surgery and his specialist dropped everything while on holiday, to return to hospital and save Archie’s life.
But he still struggles to generate sufficient oxygen in his bloodstream and may need a heart transplant in future. It’s also a challenge for him to get involved in P.E. lessons and other physical activities.
His mum, Donna, explained: “Because of the medication he’s on, he’s not allowed to do contact sports. We got him into a little football team and he was allowed to do training, but they couldn’t let him play a match for insurance purposes. It’s just too dangerous for him.”
Football-mad Archie was first referred to Make-A-Wish UK in 2019, and decided his wish was to watch Liverpool FC play at Anfield. He knows all the words to their anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, has some of their football kit and a list of favourite players.
"I’ve been outside the stadium, but I haven’t been inside. That would be my dream come true."
Wishgranter, Tequilla went one step further and booked Archie and his family train travel to Liverpool, accommodation, tickets to the Liverpool vs Everton derby and hospitality at the Hilton so they could enjoy a three-course meal before kick-off and had plenty of energy to cheer on his side!
Archie’s wish became a reality on 24th April, 2022 when he got a coach from the hotel to the stadium with his mum and her partner, got to walk round the grounds, went through the turnstiles and found his seat in the stands.
At half-time it was a nail-biting 0-0 and there were some controversial refereeing decisions that caused much debate amongst the fans. But his side went home victorious - winning 2-0 against the Toffees - and Archie was thrilled!
Donna said: “Archie loved it! He keeps asking when we’re going again. He got a photo with former player John Wark and he feels famous himself!”
Now Archie truly feels he’ll never walk alone again.
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