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Published on : Tuesday, July 28, 2015
A Co. Galway schoolboy who is bravely battling a very aggressive bone cancer got the treat of his life at the weekend as he was lifted high into the skies overhead 40,000 people at the Shannon Air Display. Stephen Reilly (11), from Eyrecourt, Co. Galway was given deserved VIP treatment throughout yesterday’s air show having courageously fought osteosarcoma since he was six and had his right leg amputated .
The parents of the young aircraft enthusiast wrote to Shannon Airport last week ahead of yesterday’s hugely successful air display, held to mark the 70th anniversary of the first commercial transatlantic flight to Shannon, asking if there was any possibility he could get a helicopter ride. And at 1:45p.m. yesterday he got his wish as the ecstatic schoolboy was given the proverbial birds eye view- courtesy of Executive Helicopters from his native Galway – of the vast airfield and the huge crowds before the action in the stunning five hour show began.
The dream flight for Stephen, whose other favourite moments at the display were jets and stunt fliers as well as a field display of tanks and other Irish Defence Forces equipment, also saw him accompanied by his father Michael, mother Nora and brother Daniel (9).Said Stephen, “It was the best day ever. I didn’t think an air show could be such fun. The helicopter ride was fantastic. Just to see everything from way up there was great.”Stephen’s father Michael said it was the perfect day.
“It’s just an incredible day for us. He has been through an awful lot over the past six years, more than you could imagine. He has undergone chemotherapy and leg salvage surgery. He then had his leg amputated in 2013 but he has been unbelievably brave. He has just gotten on with it. “So when we heard about the Shannon Air Display in local media we just took a chance and emailed the people here at the airport and they arranged what has been an incredible day for Stephen and for all of us.
“The helicopter trip was the highlight. Just to see the smile on his face as we sat in and got up in the sky. It was great that Daniel got to come also. Moments like that just give you back so much. “He also loved the tank display and other army stuff. There was just so much to see and do that it wasn’t possible to get everything in. “But it was just great to be able to sit there and know he was having such a fantastic day after all he has been through.”Shannon Airport Operations Director Niall Maloney said that everyone at Shannon has been inspired by Stephen’s story.
“He’s such a brave young man. We got the email from his family during the week and it was one of those moments when we said this just has to happen. “Executive Helicopters rowed in and we’ve had one of the most magical moments we could have hoped for at the Air Display. “We had over 40,000 people attend but there was no one more special on the day than Stephen.”
In addition to the air display, complete with aerobatics performers, parachutists, helicopters, het fighters and stunt fliers, attendees had plenty of field entertainment in the spectator zone, including 20 separate children’s attractions, 25 food operators, music entertainment.
Source:- Shannon Airport
Tags: shannon airport