Terminally ill boy lives dream of visiting Lapland on what could be his last Christmas Day

  • By ITV News Multimedia Producer Narbeh Minassian

A terminally ill eight-year-old boy has fulfilled his dream of visiting Santa's hometown on what could be his last Christmas Day.

Kyle Morrison seemed a perfectly healthy boy when he went to school in September before teachers called his mum Victoria to collect him with worries over his “dropped face”.

Victoria, 30, took him to hospital, where doctors ran tests. The next morning, they had discovered an incurable brain tumour that will gradually paralyse and blind Kyle.

Fearing this could be their last Christmas together, Victoria, who raises Kyle and two-year-old son Tyler alone, set up a fundraising page in an effort to take the family on a surprise trip to Lapland.

The page raised £8,000 within just a few days.

“I went from having a normal child to being told ‘your child is going to die’ within a few hours,” Victoria told ITV News.

“It could be his last Christmas, so that’s why we are here, just in case. He’s so excited, when we landed he said this place is out of this world and it’s Tyler’s first time seeing snow.”

It's Tyler's first time playing in the snow.

Kyle, who has only been told he has a “bump” in his head, has visited the Elves Village, Mrs Claus’ Christmas Cottage and been on a reindeer ride since arriving on Sunday.

The eight-year-old woke up feeling unwell on Christmas Day and wasn't up to making the trip to see Santa in person - but he did get to talk to his hero over a video call.

Santa wished Kyle better and told him he had hidden a present somewhere in their hotel - a Lego set.

"I just feel so bad for him as the whole trip was about meeting Santa, he is so upset," Victoria said.

"But it can't be helped, the poor thing feels dreadful."

Kyle was not up to leaving his room to see Santa on Christmas Day.

Back home, in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, the response from the community has been “amazing”, Victoria says.

Their fundraising page now stands at £15,000, with much of the support coming from locals in their area, who have recognised Victoria in shops and even “cried to her”, she told ITV News.

This support has extended to Kyle’s school, St Andrews Lane Primary School, where he now attends three times a week for two hours at a time.

Teachers have been “keeping a very close eye” on Kyle and his interactions with other pupils, who know the truth behind his condition.

“When he first went in to school [since the diagnosis] the children were shocked because he had put on a stone and a half, all the kids' faces were shocked,” said Victoria, explaining Kyle’s steroid course following radiotherapy had boosted his appetite so much that he ate 12 meals a day at one point.

“I just want to thank everyone who has donated, we would not be here now if it weren’t for them.”

Victoria is grateful for all who have helped to bring Kyle to Lapland.

While Victoria says she tries not to think about it and “acts normal” in front of her son, she has not yet been able to find out how her seemingly healthy son developed such a devastating condition.

As the tumour grows, his sight and hearing will gradually deteriorate and he will be paralysed.

“Nobody seems to know how or why the tumour formed, but I have been told it doesn’t run in the family,” she told ITV News.

“Since his radiotherapy, he is getting back to normal but the only difference is he won’t eat sweets or chocolates now, which is not normal as he usually scoffs his face.

“The diagnosis is he has 12 months to live, but there have been some children who are alive five years later, while others die within two or three weeks.

“That’s why I wanted to bring them to Lapland now.”