Little Freddie goes to Lapland for a trip of a lifetime

ALL SMILES: Freddie McDonald and his family meet Santa Claus in Lapland.
ALL SMILES: Freddie McDonald and his family meet Santa Claus in Lapland.

Little Freddie McDonald had a Christmas wish come true after being whisked away to Lapland for a trip of a lifetime with his family.

The five-year-old, who has a genetic condition affecting his heart and liver, visited Father Christmas, went on a reindeer safari and rode through the snow on a husky-pulled snowmobile, after being granted the wish by children’s Charity Rays of Sunshine.

He was joined by mum Emma, dad Phil and seven-year-old big brother Louie.

Mrs McDonald said: “The whole trip was magical. The children had never seen snow like it. We had a really, really lovely time.

“It was everything we could have imagined and more, truly the trip of a lifetime.”

Ossett youngster Freddie has had a traumatic few years, after being diagnosed with Alagille Syndrome, at just six-months old.

He underwent a liver transplant at the age of three and in March this year, he endured 16 hours of open surgery for a heart valve transplant.

Freddie’s parents applied to Rays of Sunshine to give him a much-deserved treat last year. The charity agreed to grant his Lapland wish. But Freddie became too ill to travel.

The family finally embarked on their adventure earlier this month. Mrs McDonald said: “We kept it a secret from Freddie and Louie. They didn’t know anything about it until we were about to set off to Manchester Airport.

“An elf came to the house to deliver them a letter from Santa which said they were going. They were so excited.

“After the surgery in March, Freddie was really poorly and at points we thought he wouldn’t be coming home.

“To go from thinking we could lose him to being in Lapland at Christmas and enjoying some family time together making memories was really special.

“Freddie loved it - he loved the snow, he loved the reindeer, he loved Santa.

“It was a treat for Louie too, as it’s been tough for him. We are extremely grateful. It’s something we will never forget.”

“Freddie is in the best health he’s ever been,” she added. “But he’s had a really traumatic first five years of life. We are looking forward to Christmas as a family.”