Santa's surprise for little Connor on Christmas Eve

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A YOUNG boy suffering from a rare illness got a visit from Santa Claus to make his Christmas extra special.

A YOUNG boy suffering from a rare illness got a visit from Santa Claus to make his Christmas extra special.Connor Wright (11), was born with Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome, a rare illness which affects the youngster’s bone marrow.

The disease means a simple bout of flu could leave Connor in hospital.

On Christmas Eve Connor’s grandmother, Sue Kilby organised for Santa to come to his Crowland home thanks to the Spirit Of Christmas Company, who arranged for Santa to visit dozens of children’s homes across Peterborough over the Christmas period.

Amanda Wright, Connor’s mum, said: “He was very surprised. He did not know it had been organised, and he couldn’t believe it. He said ‘he has never been before, so I must be special.

“It was fantastic, an amazing way to start Christmas.

“We all had a really good Christmas this year. Connor got everything he wanted, and it has been a really good few days.

“My sister saw the article in The Evening Telegraph about The Spirit of Christmas, and thought it would be a great way of brightening up Connor’s Christmas.

“Sue, my mum then took it from there, and it really made everyone’s Christmas.”

Mrs Wright said that Connor had been struggling with his illness over the last few months, so the Christmas treat had been a good break from having to think about the disease.

She said: “It has been a rough couple of months for Connor. He has had a stinking cold, sore throats and other problems. This has meant that we have had to boost his medication, and he has also had to miss some of his education.

“But we were determined to make sure he had a great Christmas, even though we have had to give him extra antibiotics in December.

“He sometimes struggles over the winter, so we are looking forward to getting the new year under way.”

The Spirit Of Christmas visits have been arranged by Patrick Copley, who made 42 visits across the city on Christmas Eve to meet young children and hand over a small present.

In the summer, Connor’s family held a major fundraising event on the embankment.

The It’s A Knock Out style day managed to raise more than 6,000 for research into Shwachman-Diamond syndrome at Great Ormand Street hospital, where Connor received treatment as a young child.

Along with plenty of fun and games, the day saw celebrity guests entertain the hundreds of people who turned up, including Hollyoaks star Leon Lopez, and Peterborough band Hooker.

The family had previously raised over 17,000 for research last year.