Big adventure for Aidan

Aidan and his brother Daniel at Flamingo Land.
Aidan and his brother Daniel at Flamingo Land.

A kind-hearted businessman sent a brave youngster and his family on a luxury break after reading about his plight in the Gazette.

Gordon Webster, branch director of MKM in Alnwick, wanted to do something to help two-year-old Aidan Jackowiak Smith after seeing his story in the paper.

Little Aidan has numerous medical problems with swelling on his face, neck and ear as well as epilepsy.

He has an army of consultants and hospital trips are a regular occurrence for him.

His problems are so unique that he has no specific diagnosis, but Aidan continues to be a happy little child.

When Mr Webster saw our story, he took it upon himself to organise fund-raisers to do something for the Shilbottle lad and his parents Vikki Jackowiak and Karl Smith and brother Daniel.

So he put a collection tin on the counter and managed to raise more than £1,000.

But he went one step further and sent the four of them to Flamingo Land for a week, in a luxury lodge, with exclusive access to park facilities.

They returned from the trip last Friday.

Karl said: “We had an amazing experience. We went on a safari to see all the animals. It was a night-time encounter and we got to meet the lemurs.

“We also went out to see the birds of prey and got photographs with them, which isn’t something they normally do.

“And the lodge was absolutely beautiful.

“We can’t thank Gordon enough. When he met Aidan, he realised that he could feel things and he really thought about the trip.

“There were the animals for Aidan, rides for Daniel and the luxury lodge for me and Vikki.

“Gordon is so taken with Aidan, it’s lovely.”

Gordon said: “Aidan is such a lovely lad, I thought it must be hard for him and his family and I wanted to do something for them.”

He also organised a raffle at Shilbottle Club in aid of Aidan.

The family were also on ITV’s This Morning programme the week before their break, talking about Aidan’s story.