Special Christmas for brave Wigan tot Bobby
While Christmas is a special time for families, it is particularly precious for Bobby Baldwin.
The three-year-old has been enjoying colourful festive lights and is looking forward to spending Christmas Day with his family.
His loved ones will enjoy every minute with Bobby.
He has three holes in his heart and was born with major aortopulmonary collateral arteries, which means blood cannot pump round his body because he has no pulmonary arteries.
He underwent open heart surgery when he was just six weeks old and has since had more than 15 operations, suffered two strokes and only has one functioning lung.
If Bobby is ill or a relative has an illness, it means he has to stay at home.
Two years ago, his parents even held Christmas Day early because Bobby was going in hospital for an operation.
But tomorrow he will be going to his grandparents’ house and celebrating with the whole family.
Mum Emma Doherty, from Worsley Mesnes, said: “This is the first year hopefully that everyone is healthy and I won’t have to pick my dinner up or go earlier.”
Bobby has been ill recently, with six chest infections since October, a stomach line infection and hand, foot and mouth disease.
But Emma is hopeful that he will be well enough to enjoy the festivities.
She said: “He’s absolutely terrified of Father Christmas. We have tried a few times but there’s no way we can do it.
“He’s so excited this year about Christmas though. When he sees Father Christmas, he will point and get excited but won’t go near him.
“We go out every night to see Christmas lights. He gets excited seeing them. He even directs me in the car to the ones he wants to see.
“He has only asked for two things. He understands it a lot more. He’s really excited. He loves it.”
Bobby hopes Father Christmas will bring a bear for him to build and a Mickey Mouse clubhouse.
It should be a happy day for Bobby, who has had fewer hospital admissions this year, despite one of his lungs no longer working.
Unfortunately Bobby’s recent illnesses meant he missed his first school play, but he has been enjoying his time at St Jude’s Catholic Primary School since joining the pre-school in September.
Emma said: “It was terrible at first, but he seems to have relaxed a bit more and made a couple of friends. He’s sometimes reluctant to go if he’s had a bit of time off, but once he’s there he’s really good.”
Bobby has already got in the festive spirit thanks to a trip to Center Parcs at Sherwood Forest, arranged by charity When You Wish Upon A Star.
It replaced a trip to Disneyland Paris, which was booked for November but had to be postponed when Bobby got a chest infection.
Generous fund-raiser and family friend Dave Morris raised the money for the trip by tackling a tandem parachute jump.
Emma and Bobby hope to go to Disneyland in the spring instead.