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“A Disney Wish”
7 years old, Reading
Throughout painful surgeries with lengthy recoveries, seven-year-old Lincoln held onto the thought of experiencing the magic of Disneyland. However, his condition means that he can’t fly or visit crowded places, making a trip to Disney improbable. But when his family heard of the UK based Disney wish, they realised that his wish could become a reality, regardless of his condition.
A diagnosis of OI (osteogenesis imperfecta) sent mum Amelia into a state of fear as she also lives with the genetic condition which impacts bone strength, causing painful fractures. ‘There was a 50/50 chance of him getting the condition’ said Mum, ‘but we took that risk. It was during an 18-week scan that we found out. I came out of the scan room and burst into tears.’.
Several surgeries have meant that many Christmases and birthdays have been stolen from Lincoln. As mum told us, ‘On Christmas eve of 2019 he had an operation; he was in agony. All I could think is that my baby shouldn’t be in hospital during Christmas - no child should. It was horrible.’
Because of his condition, Lincoln shielded during the Covid-19 pandemic. This led to him becoming, ‘very withdrawn’. ‘He wouldn't go out.’ said Mum, ‘He wouldn’t step outside the front door.’.
Lincoln’s condition also means he doesn’t get to see his older sisters, Lily and Abigale, very often. ‘If they have a cold, they can’t come for that weekend,’ said mum. Trips to London are rare, though when they do happen the family has to take every precaution to not put Lincoln at risk.
But despite it all, Lincoln is a resilient young boy. ‘We call him our little Iron Man’ said mum, ‘he gets knocked down then gets back up’. Inspired by the nurses and doctors who tend to him in hospital, he hopes to become a nurse in the future because, in his words, ‘they do all the hard work!’
A love for all things Disney stemmed from when Lincoln was just three years old: after his grandma gave him some money, he popped it in his money box. ‘I asked what it’s for,’ said mum ‘and to my surprise he said it's for ‘Mickey Mouse World!’.
As Lincoln grew older, he continued to talk about Disney - with virtual tours of Disneyworld offering a distraction as he recovered from surgery. ‘He never stopped talking about how much he wanted to go!’ said mum.
The UK based Disney wish was the perfect experience for Lincoln - as it allowed his wish to come true, experiencing the magic of Disney and meeting Mickey Mouse without the risk of fractures.
‘It was perfect, I can't put into words how amazing it was, it was magical - there were absolutely no worries’ said Mum. His wish offers a long-lasting sense of happiness, which he now pulls upon during surgeries and hospital trips. ‘Lincoln is now using the memory of his wish as his happy place.’ explained Mum. Leg plastering usually ends up being a painful ordeal for Lincoln, but talking to his nurses about his wish meant that ‘he was able to have his leg plastered without screaming’.
Mum was happy to see the smiling faces of the other wish families: ‘My favourite part of this magical experience was seeing everyone all the children mums and dads smiling. Then and there they had no care in the world, despite what may be going on back home.’ Lincoln’s sisters also came along for the wish, equally enjoying it. ‘I saw them put their phones down!’ said mum.
The impact of Lincoln's wish
The power of his wish has shifted the way Lincoln perceives his life-limiting condition. He said, ‘there are good things about having OI, I wouldn't have had my wish if I didn’t have OI! I hope lots of children get more wishes Mummy!’ For Lincoln, much of his life has been spent in and out of hospital. Christmases and birthdays have been missed, taking a chunk of his childhood away from him. But as Mum told us, his wish ‘gave his childhood back to him’.
Lincoln’s wish means that he now has joyful memories to pull upon during the darkest of times. As mum told us ’ll never forget it. Seeing my family laughing with his children was amazing. I can't thank you guys enough. It meant the world to me, to see my family happy laughing and smiling. It will never leave us. I hope many more children will get their wishes granted.’
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