Christmas dream comes true for terminally ill Doncaster boy Lewis Jeynes

This is the moment the Free Press helped put a big Christmas smile on the face of a poorly Doncaster boy.

Friday, 22nd December 2017, 10:45 am
Updated Friday, 22nd December 2017, 10:55 am
Jennie woodcock, from Haughton Park Reindeer, pictured introducing Lewis to May, one of two Reindeers, that visited him. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Jeynes Reindeers MC 3

We teamed up with Haughton Park Reindeer, based at Bothamsall, near Retford, to make a Christmas dream come true for Lewis Jeynes, who is unable to leave his Bessacarr home because of his serious condition.

Lewis, aged 13, is living on borrowed time because he suffers from a condition which means doctors did not expect him to live beyond the age of 12. His mum fears this could be his last Christmas.

But after hearing that what would make his Christmas special was to see reindeer at this house, we asked Haughton Park Reindeer to make a special visit to Lewis' home to make his dream come true. He was joined by mum Samantha Tolmie, grandmother Marion Jeynes, former carer Natalie Taplin and her two year old son James, and current carer Amy Collinson.

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Mum Samantha did not tell Lewis about the visit before Jennie Woodcock of Haughton Park Farm arrived on the doorstep with the reindeer, Twiglet and May.

She said: "We brought Lewis outside, and he could not stop smiling as he caught their eyes.

"He had such a big smile on his face.- it was such a big surprise for him. We'd said there was a visitor coming, but not who it was."

Jennie also arranged for Twiglet and May, the reindeer, to leave Lewis a special silver bell for him to always hear the reindeer.

Delighted mum Samantha said: "It has made it a magical Christmas for Lewis. For us, everything is done as though it is the last Christmas, so it is so special to have something like this and to have the memories it brings."

Lewis will celebrate Christmas Day with a Hawaiian themed day, inspired by one of his favourite films, Lilo and Stitch, about a Hawaiian girl adopts an alien pet.

Jennie, from Haughton Park Reindeer said she was pleased to have been able to make Lewis' dream come true.

"Twiglet and May got on really well with him," she said.

Lewis suffers from a recently discovered variant of the terminal illness Batten Disease and has already confounded the experts by reaching the age of 13.

He developed normally until he was two, walking and talking. Then one day he began limping. He lost the use of his legs, then his arms, then he couldn’t swallow.

He is on a ventilator and is prone to epilepsy and respiratory disease. He can no longer walk, move, or speak. But Samantha says he can communicate with those who love and care for him using his eyes.