A family from Rutland made a special visit to Number 10 Downing Street last week to attend the Prime Minister’s Christmas Party.
Five-year-old Dylan Roundhill, from South Luffenham, who receives respite care at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, attended the special invitation to visit Number 10 on Monday last week.
Dylan was one of 10 children from the Rainbows Hospice who were whisked to London for the festive occasion, to meet David Cameron and his wife Samantha, along with Santa Claus.
Dylan’s mum, Dionne said: “It was awesome, a great opportunity for the kids, they really enjoyed it.”
When Dylan was three-weeks-old he contracted Meningococcal Septicaemia and spent more than two months in hospital.
The condition left him brain damaged and Dylan is now unable to speak and has limited movement and restricted sight.
He relies on care 24 hours a day from his parents, Dionne and David and Dylan doesn’t sleep at night meaning most nights his mum Dionne only gets two hours sleep at best.
Dionne said: “When he was first diagnosed, it was just awful. We just couldn’t believe it was happening. But Dylan is so happy and always smiling. He is so pleasant, we just wouldn’t change him.”
One symptom of Dylan’s condition means he holds his breath frequently and loses consciousness. He is also reliant on a suction machine, which is sometimes used up to 200 times a day, to stop him choking. Recently Dylan had such a bad seizure, that he had to be resuscitated twice.
Dionne said: “We’ve had a very hard time lately - we nearly lost Dylan two weeks ago, so we very nearly didn’t make it to London.
“I really thought we had lost him, it was so scary.”
Dylan has three sisters, six-year-old twins Libby and Layla and three-year-old Daisy, who all attended the Christmas party with Dylan.
Dionne said: “Downing Street was just brilliant. It has been something we never thought we would do, not even something we would be able to imagine doing. The children have had a great time.”
“Dylan’s sisters thought it was amazing, as they knew they were in the Prime Ministers house - which is an opportunity they’re probably never going to get again.
“The girls are as good as gold. They all help when Dylan stops breathing which is sad that they have to do that but that is the way it is.
Along with meeting the Prime Minister, the children also met entertainers Dick and Dom, princesses and some of the cast of Paddington along with Paddington Bear himself.
The family who discovered Rainbows 18 months ago, describe the hospice as ‘amazing’, Dionne said: “Rainbows is the only place where I can get a guaranteed sleep.
“It is also the only place that Dylan can swim and we can swim with him as a family. The girls get to take part in sibling activities and it is just a wonderful place for all of us. We love it.”
Rainbows was one of several charities chosen to attend the annual party, the children were all selected by ballot to ensure a fair process and staff said the trip was a “magical” day.