Hayden was your average, energetic young boy until one day tragedy struck. He was getting dressed for a family outing and as he was getting dressed, discovered he couldn’t use his left hand.
"Nothing could prepare us for what they were about to tell us," said Hayden's Mum Simone, of the diagnosis. "The scan revealed that that Hayden had a large tumour on his brain stem." And this tumour left him paralysed on his left side.
After the shock diagnosis, Hayden started the long journey back to health, often requiring long stays in hospital. And it was during these hospital visits, that he and his siblings found the Starlight Express Room.
Simone describes the Starlight Express Room as "a refuge - a home away from home" for her family, including Hayden's young brother and sister. She shared that accessing the Starlight Express Room, "helped reframe their hospital experience from one they would fear, to one they looked forward to."
After rigorous treatment, Hayden was granted a Starlight Wish. Due to his love of ships, he wished to go on a family cruise to visit the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland!
The trip was an exciting and happy holiday for Hayden and his family, filled with plenty of fun activities including snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef.
Simone says, "The trip gave us hope, putting behind us the battle we've gone through. It helped to put behind us the memories from the past 12 months, and replace them with good memories that we can create together. When you have a child that's unwell, the family gets separated, so Starlight through the Starlight Express Room and his Starlight Wish has been able to bring our family together".
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