A FIVE-year-old’s dream came true after Batman presented him with a special gift for his bravery.

Samuel Bethell was born with a hole in his heart. It was also upside down and was facing the wrong way.

About three years ago he underwent open heart surgery but his incurable condition is still potentially fatal.

The North Primary School pupil, from Colchester, has touched the hearts of many including the Rays of Sunshine charity.

Samuel made a wish to go on a plane and meet his favourite comic book heroes.

The charity, which grants wishes for children with illnesses, was keen to support him and his family arranged for the surprise to be revealed at Invasion Colchester.

The event features favourite comic book heroes, so Samuel was in his element.

Little did he know he would also be invited to go to Florida to stay at Give Kids The World, a magical resort in central Florida, as well as Disney World, Universal Studios and Seaworld.

His mum Vicki said: “It poured with rain when we got there so we ran into different shops.

“One of the characters dressed as a lieutenant asked the Storm Troopers to fall into line, like they were putting on some kind of show.

“They said they were looking for a citizen called Samuel and Samuel told them he was there.

“They said Batman wanted to speak to him. Batman shook his hand and they gave him a certificate from Rays of Sunshine.”

Samuel was in awe, as were his sisters Betsy, four, and Daisy, nine.

Vicki, who was there with her partner, Rick, said: “He was totally overwhelmed that Batman knew his name and wasn’t really taking it all in.

“Batman let him go in the Batmobile and he let him turn the engine on.

“They had a few pictures and he got to play with all the buttons.”

The surprise did not stop there, as Samuel was greeted by another of his favourite characters.

Vicki said: “All of a sudden Spiderman came out and said Samuel’s name and he was totally starstruck.

“His eyes were all glazed and he just didn’t know what to do.

“They spent a lot of time with him. He got up the next morning and asked if he could see his friends Batman and Spiderman again.”

The family will take the trip in the near future.

Jane Sharpe, chief executive officer of Rays of Sunshine, said: “What a fantastic wish reveal.

“A huge thanks to Invasion Colchester, Batman, Catwoman and, of course, mum and dad, for organising such an exciting way to tell Samuel and his sisters his wish is being granted.

“We are delighted we could make his wish to go to Florida with his family become a reality.

“Every day of the year, Rays of Sunshine enables brave and deserving children to be able to put their illness on hold and enjoy a moment of escape, and Samuel’s wish is no exception.

“This holiday will be a chance for Samuel and his family to spend some quality time together, in one of the most magical places on earth and create precious memories to last a lifetime.

“We hope they have the most fantastic time.”

Samuel dressed up in his Batman costume especially for the occasion, and one of his favourite parts of the day was opening up the Batmobile by shouting a command into Batman’s suit.

More than 50 members from the UK Garrison and Reel Icons were in attendance, along with Rebel Legion, AvP UK (Aliens vs Predators), R2 Builders, the Mando Mercs, and many more costumers and cosplayers.