A poorly girl’s one Christmas wish finally came true as Santa Claus paid her a special visit.
Every year Maya Ratcliffe has been too ill to see Father Christmas during one of his seasonal rounds at Peterborough City Hospital.
But this time the four-year-old who has survived premature birth, countless operations, epilepsy and meningitis was finally granted her wish despite undergoing major surgery to her hips just a month earlier.
And just like London buses there was not one but two chances to see Santa with the big man taking time out of his busy schedule to visit Maya at her home in Drybread Road, Whittlesey thanks to the Whittlesey Lions Club,
He then welcomed Maya and several members of her family, including younger brother Max (2), to Dobbies Garden Centre in Hampton for afternoon tea where he handed over presents and wished the family a Merry Christmas.
Maya’s mum Fay Dovey said: “Every year she has been admitted to hospital at this time of year and been too poorly to meet him even when he does his magical rounds at the hospital.
“But Dobbies were so considerate of all Maya’s needs from access and changing space to lighting and sound as well as her dietary needs. They had thought of everything.
“It was a truly magical experience.
“It’s not very often people share good news stories of people and companies going above and beyond but Dobbies really did. They made it a very magical first Christmas for our whole family.”
Maya, a full-time wheelchair user, was diagnosed in the womb with Spina bifida and hydrocephalus and was not expected to survive being born.
Spina bifida is a fault in the development of the spine and surrounding vertebrae which leaves a gap or split in the spine. Hydrocephalus is a condition where fluid accumulates around the brain.