South Yorkshire family meet Santa in Lapland

Mikka Walmsley with her brother Blake dad Richard and mum Rachel
Mikka Walmsley with her brother Blake dad Richard and mum Rachel
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LITTLE Mikka Walmsley’s dream came true when she was whisked off to Lapland to meet Santa thanks to the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Mikka, aged five, suffered a major stroke in 2010 and despite months in hospital she was left paralysed from the chest down and able only to shrug her shoulder.

The Barnsley tot is slowly recovering and now has movement in her right arm and slightly in her left, so she is able to feed herself. But she has to use a wheelchair and faces a number of challenges.

Christmas-loving Mikka, who is treated at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, was referred to Starlight and it was immediately clear what her once-in-a-lifetime wish would be.

Each year Starlight sends a group of families to Luosto, which is a traditional Finnish resort that offers a magical Lapland experience.

With her mum Rachel, dad Richard and brother Blake, they spent a ‘delightful’ three days in Lapland, where they enjoyed a husky sledge ride through the forests, meeting the reindeer and, of course, Santa and his little helpers the elves.

Richard said: “Having Mikka’s wish granted is a dream come true for her and for all of us. Mikka was so excited to meet Santa and she loved being pulled along in a sledge too.”