5-Year-Old Boy with Limited Life Span Granted His Wish to Journey on Scotland’s Famous Caledonian Sleeper

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A young lad, enamored with trains and facing less than a year of life, had his fondest wishes fulfilled with a surprise journey to Scotland aboard the renowned Caledonian Sleeper.

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Everett Walton, merely three years old in January 2023, received the grim diagnosis of a Medulloblastoma brain tumor. By October, his parents, Joseph, 38, and Karen Fan, 40, were delivered the devastating news that no further treatments were available, with Everett’s life expectancy reduced to mere months.

Residing near Kings Cross Station in London, the courageous lad has harbored an enduring passion for trains since his earliest days. Make-A-Wish charity intervened, orchestrating an extraordinary adventure to infuse Everett’s challenging childhood with a touch of enchantment.

“Mere hardships have plagued Everett ceaselessly. Diagnosed last January, he underwent a major surgery followed by grueling sessions of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. His schooling suffered significantly due to treatment, a real blow for a child who adores school. Moreover, he missed out on cherished moments with friends.

“Physically, the brain tumor has taken its toll, rendering simple tasks a struggle for him. With his Hickman line in place, he was restricted from activities like swimming, a beloved pastime. Dressing changes also caused him immense distress.

“Traveling during treatment posed its own challenges. Now under palliative care, we hope to venture abroad in the coming months.”

The prospect of a journey to Scotland aboard the Caledonian Sleeper train from London Euston to Fort William filled young Everett with uncontainable excitement.

Staff went above and beyond to make him feel special, granting him a private tour that included a visit to the train driver’s cabin, where he delighted in exploring the controls that bring the train to life.

“He’s absolutely besotted with train toys! We can’t get enough of them! Every hospital visit sees us bringing along his beloved train and track toys—they never fail to lift his spirits!” Karen exclaimed.

“After enduring prolonged hospital stays, we were uncertain how he would adjust to returning to school. The teachers went the extra mile, setting up train tracks to lift his spirits.

“It’s been an incredibly trying time for a five-year-old. There’s been so little to look forward to, but his wish brought a glimmer of excitement.

“The train journey was an absolute blast! The folks from the Caledonian Sleeper Train welcomed us warmly, offering a private tour where Everett even had the chance to sit in the driver’s seat and sound the train horn! The breathtaking scenery of the highlands was the highlight of the trip. Everett reveled in rolling around the hills, his excited laughter echoing through the landscape!”

Jason Suckley, CEO of Make-A-Wish UK, remarked, “Regrettably, the number of children like Everett, turning to Make-A-Wish UK with less than a year to live, has tripled since 2022.

“The demand for wishes is surpassing our capacity, leading to delays in fulfilling them. However, many families simply cannot afford to wait. Wishes have the power to reignite the magic of childhood, offering respite from the harsh realities of ongoing treatments and hospital stays.”

Make-A-Wish UK receives funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery, with £900,000 in funding aiding children like Everett in realizing their lifelong dreams.

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