Young Evertonian’s Christmas comes early

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Regan receiving his goody bag from Barkley (left) and with James McCarthy and Tony Hibbert (right) © Rita Georgeson

Regan receiving his goody bag from Ross Barkley (left) and with James McCarthy and Tony Hibbert (right). Pics © Rita Georgeson

A seriously ill child’s Christmas came early when he was invited by Everton to spend an afternoon at their training ground, meeting his heroes in the process.

Regan Georgeson was born with sickle cell anaemia but was only diagnosed with the illness in April this year and since then he has been hospitalised four times, having eight blood transfusions.

Around a month ago he was admitted to hospital with acute chest syndrome which can be fatal and was put on IV fluids and morphine for five days as well as being on oxygen constantly.

But as part of Take a Break’s Christmas Wish campaign Georgeson won a visit to Finch Farm and met Blues star Ross Barkley amongst others.

After watching the players being put through their paces and lunch, the 11-year-old was surprised by Tony Hibbert, Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy and ex-Everton player and now coach Duncan Ferguson.

Barkley was then there to meet him with a bag full of goodies including an Everton away shirt, jigsaw puzzle, badges and a DVD. Regan’s day was made even better when Barkley brought him his boots and signed them before handing them over.

His grandmother Rita Georgeson was the person who contacted Take a Break after its Facebook page said the magazine was looking for people who deserved a Christmas wish after a bad year.

She told JMU Journalism: “I never told him until the night before but at first he didn’t believe me, he thought I was lying. He was speechless, I think he was in a dream world. When we got home he was in his bedroom watching the DVD with the boots next to him on the bed, he didn’t let them out of his sight. Ross was lovely, it was a brilliant day.”

“It was nice to see him so happy after the year he has had. I was chocked up. He deserved it after what he has been through. He’s been so brave, he’s now on penicillin tablets for the rest of his life and now new anti-cancer tablets to stop the cells sickling. It’s an awful lot to take in and he gets fed up having to take the tablets. But the nurses in Alder Hey have been brilliant.”

Regan said he would love to do the day all over again, telling JMU Journalism: “It was like a dream meeting Ross because he’s a brilliant player for us and loves the club. He’s my hero.”

About Rebecca Cookson, JMU Journalism