Blake McCaughey returned to his home in Breagh Lodge this week after the trip of a lifetime to Orlando.
As he got to grips with the jet lag, he reflected on a holiday made possible by Make A Wish Foundation, the highlights of which were getting kisses from Disney princesses and forging a friendship with former US Open champion Graeme McDowell.
The six-year-old, who has an undiagnosed neurological muscular disorder causing him to receive all food and drink through a tube, got a new wheelchair at Christmas when he also found out he was Orlando-bound.
Blake and his sister Pixie (3) made the trip along with mum Christine, dad Andrew and uncle Neil on May 31.
In advance of the trip Christine had emailed Major winner McDowell at his restaurant Nona Blue in Orlando letting him know they were coming.
The Portrush man, in US Open action this week, welcomed the family to his restaurant with open arms and Blake was treated like a celebrity during the visit. Christine said ‘G-Mac’ was very down to earth and indulged in lots of banter with Blake. When the golfer first arrived at the restaurant with his wife, Blake happened to be at the receptionist desk and, pretending to be a regular customer, Graeme asked Blake to lead him to his table, playing along that the six-year-old was the maitre d’.
In the Magic Kingdom Blake and his sister Pixie were also given the red carpet treatment. Blake took part in the Lion King Show and Disney Parade and his sister got to meet Anna and Elsa from Frozen.
Christine said, “Blake is starting to get an eye for the ladies, so he was in his element when he got kisses from all the Disney princesses.”
As well as Disney World the family also visited Universal Studios and Seaworld and stayed in the exclusive ‘Give Kids The World’ resort where children get five star treatment.
Although sad when they finally had to leave America, Christine said they left on a high. “On our last day we sent up two big Disney balloons with the names of some of Blake’s friends who have passed away and Oscar Knox.
“We said, ‘We’re not sad to be leaving, we’re grateful to have been here’. There’s wee ones never get to come here in their lifetime. We went home on a high.”