A YOUNG boy whose family were told may not reach his 10th birthday has fulfilled his top bucket list wish after jumping on the beds of a furniture shop.

Inspiring seven-year-old Samuel, of Colchester, was born at University College Hospital London in April 2014 before being diagnosed with a range of serious medical conditions.

These include a ventricular septal defect, pulmonary stenosis, hypoplastic right heart syndrome and hypoventricula left heart syndrome.

On Friday afternoon he was exclusively invited to Hatfields Furniture and Interiors, in Peartree Road, Stanway.


He was welcomed to the store after a Gazette article told how his parents Vicki Gibson, 33, and Richard Bethell, 48, had been informed by a doctor they might soon have to prepare for the worst.

They have since set about making what could be Samuel’s final years the best they can possible be and the defiant fighter has outlined a list of things he would like to do.

Among other activities, Samuel expressed a desire to visit the London Eye and Chessington World of Adventures, and other attractions offered by a Merlin Pass.

His sisters, Daisy, 11, and Betsy, six, would also like to return to Disneyland with their brother, after a previous trip to theme park didn’t quite go to plan.

But what Samuel wanted to do most, however, was visit a bedding shop and be given permission to jump all over the beds, before going for ice cream and pizza.

And last Friday, after rushing home from school bursting with excitement, that wish was granted.


“It was amazing,” said mum, Vicki. “When we got there Samuel couldn’t wait to get into the shop and we were greeted by Megan and Mark who were ever so welcoming - Megan looked just as excited as Samuel.

“They led us up the stairs and to a section of beds where they had put some balloons out for Samuel, who looked at everyone around him with the biggest cheeky grin as if to say: ‘Is it okay mummy and daddy?’

“Samuel and his sisters soon got into the fun of it and started to bounce everywhere.”

After a short break Samuel and his family were led upstairs and into the shop window, where the biggest bed in the showroom awaited the adorably uncontrollable young boy.

Vicki added: “The children went wild, having pillow fights and waving to everyone that went past and then they had pizza.”

Megan Ranson, of Hatfields, said it was a pure delight being able to make Samuel’s dream come true.

“It was a pleasure to host Samuel and his family in-store on Friday,” she added.

“When we read Samuel’s story and realised jumping on beds in a store was high on his wish list, it instantly connected with us at Hatfields and we knew that special permission had to be granted.

“We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon and there were smiles on everyone’s faces, which was a joy to see.

“We thank Samuel for sharing this special moment with us in-store at Hatfields.”

Since Samuel’s diagnosis he has undergone several operations, including open heart surgery, but has surpassed doctors’ expectations and three years ago he started school.

In September, however, he and his family were dealt a major blow after visiting Great Ormond Street Hospital for what should have been a routine check-up.


The consultant informed Vicki Samuel’s heart and valves were showing severe signs of scarring and tissue damage.

He also told her he would “be surprised” if Samuel made it to his 10th birthday – news which shattered the family.

Acts of generosity such as this one are, therefore, all the more meaningful.

“The whole experience is one that we will never forget and I can’t express how grateful we are to the team at Hatfields,” added Vicki.

“Thank you doesn’t seem to be enough.”

To donate to Samuel’s wish-list campaign visit tinyurl.com/hbse3dwc.

All Pictures: Steve Brading