Wish granted for ill Exmouth youngster

AN EXMOUTH teenager suffering from a rare disease has fulfilled a lifelong wish to ride in a classic car.

Lewis Hanson, of Churchill Road, was handed the chance to ride in a Shelby 1967 Mustang by Starlight Children’s Foundation, the UK’s leading wish-granting charity for youngsters with serious and terminal illnesses.

The 17-year-old was recently diagnosed with fabry disease, a condition that causes a wide range of systemic symptoms which includes kidney and cardiac complications.

Lewis, an Exmouth Community College student, has always longed to take a trip out in the car and when he was referred to Starlight, he knew immediately what his wish of a lifetime would be.

The charity organised for the youngster, joined by his parents, Louise and Simon, to spend a day exploring a classic car collection.

Mum Louise said: “The day was really amazing. Lewis has had such a tough year and it really cheered him up enormously.

“He has been very quiet recently and since that day, it has been lovely to see him talking much more.”

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Louise thanked Starlight and the collection’s owner, Philip Walker, for making his dream come true.

She added: “His confidence has really been knocked and, after everything that he has been through, he really deserved something special.”

Lewis was able to go for a ride around the countryside and was taken to a special model shop where he was bought an exact model replica of the Mustang.

The youngster is no newcomer to serious medical conditions. During his childhood he developed insulin dependant diabetes, epilepsy and celiacs disease.

Speaking about his current treatment, Lewis said: “I have to have an infusion every other week. I don’t like this as I always feel I’m going to faint when the needle goes in.”

As well as granting once-in-a-lifetime wishes for serious and terminally ill children, Starlight creates entertainment in every hospital and hospice throughout the UK.

To refer a brave child like Lewis, or make a donation to the charity, visit its website at the following address: www.starlight.org.uk