Wish for Roman history tour is granted for Thorpe St Andrew youngster

A brave Thorpe St Andrew youngster has enjoyed the trip of a lifetime to Rome, thanks to a national children's charity.

William Dewar, pictured, who receives regular treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital for a condition which causes him extreme muscle weakness, is a keen amateur archaeologist and historian.

When Round Table Children's Wish offered the 11-year-old the chance of a wish, he put down three choices: racing James May around the Top Gear circuit in an electric wheelchair, meeting Dr Who, or a family holiday to Rome.

It was the wish of a trip to Italy's capital that was granted for William and his family, but it was more than just your average family holiday, as William's father Greg explained: 'It was astonishing. The charity didn't just arrange a trip to Rome, they engaged the services of the British Embassy, we took tea with the ambassador and their staff volunteered to be our guides.

'We hadn't had a family holiday abroad since William started using his wheelchair; the logistics had always been too difficult.'

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William was joined on the four-day trip by his siblings Emily, 19, Thomas, 14 and Benjamin, four, and his parents Tonya and Greg. They visited the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican, Pantheon, Piazza Navona and the Colosseum.

Mr Dewar continued: 'As a family, we love museums and galleries – when William has a hospital appointment in London the sweetener is a trip to the British Museum.

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'He loves the Horrible Histories TV programme and has an amazing memory for facts. To be in Rome seeing first-hand the places he's learnt about in history was a dream come true.'

The guides tailored their tour to William's humour, pointing out that when the Pope celebrates mass a Michelangelo painting above him depicts someone baring his bottom and an angel making a rude gesture.

William, who will attend Thorpe St Andrew School from September, said: 'I enjoyed the Sistine Chapel the best – it was colourful and vibrant and had lots of detailed paintings.

'I had an absolutely amazing time in Rome and want to thank everyone who made it happen.'

- Do you know someone who is going on a trip of a lifetime? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email as below.

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