Dream trip for brave South Kirkby youngster

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A South Kirkby youngster who has a life-threatening heart condition has just returned from an “awesome” dream trip to Disney World in Florida.

Olivia Benn, ten, was born with rare congenital heart disease which is too complex to correct. She has undergone life-saving, open-heart surgery several times.

Last month the Stockingate Mill Junior School pupil enjoyed a medically-supported, seven-night holiday to the Florida theme park with her mum April Spink, dad Wayne Benn and her brother Jake, 15.

She was one of 24 children from across the UK who travelled with their families on the Caudwell Children’s charity organised trip to Disney World.

Olivia summed up her trip last month in just one word: “awesome.”

The youngster added: “We met Anna and Elsa from Frozen, and Rachel Stevens from S Club 7. We went on lots of rides. We went to Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Sea World and Universal and Hollywood Studios.

“The best bits were going to Magic Kingdom and meeting all the Disney characters and all my new friends.”

The trip was also featured in Daily Mirror, which published a picture of Olivia, saying she “looks every inch a princess as she beams in front of the castle”.

Olivia joked that her friends now call her “famous”.

Her mum April Spink, 47, said: “We would like to thank all the people at the Caudwell Children’s charity. All the staff, volunteers, and the medics were amazing. We came away with memories to last a lifetime.”

Andy Bailey, the charity’s appeals manager, said: “The Destination Dreams trip is unique in that a dedicated team of medical professionals accompany the families, meaning that children with very high medical needs can travel, often for the first time in their lives.”