Harvey and George Hall aged nine and six both, purely by chance, suffer from rare and complicated heart conditions which are life-limiting.
But their family says the boys just get on with it and are looking forward to Christmas as much as any other child.
They were given an early Christmas surprise when they were among 150 well-deserving children to be chosen to enjoy a magical Santa Flight, complete with elves, celebrities, presents and a special visit from the main man himself with the Leeds-based airline Jet2.
The company teamed up with Leeds Children’s Charity and Lytham St Anne’s charity, Days of Sunshine to take the children from West Yorkshire and the North West on the magical ‘Search for Santa’ flight from Leeds Bradford Airport.
Harvey has congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries, which affects less than one per cent of children born with heart defects, as well as heart failure and needs a transplant.George, who won a Yorkshire Child of Courage award in October for bravery, has had several heart operations but also suffers from lung disease, has a pacemaker and at night sleeps on a ventilator.
The boys grandmother, Nicola Garbutt, 48, from Skipton, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “We told them they were going and they were really, really excited. When they were on the plane they just said it was the best thing ever.“The celebrities were amazing with how they were with the children. It was a fantastic day and because they look well, ride a bike, climb trees it is easy to forget they have a heart condition so it was nice to spend time with other families in similar situations.”
Ashley Taylor-Dawson and Anthony Quinlan, Darren from Hollyoaks and Pete from Emmerdale respectively, were on hand to start the Christmas sing-a-long.
Once the aircraft was back on the ground the children were treated to a special tea party back at Leeds Bradford Airport and were delighted to each receive a special present Santa had left for them.
Phil Ward, Managing Director of Jet2.com, said: “We wanted to make Christmas extra special this year for these well-deserving children and what better way to do that than with our Santa Flight.“It was a magical day from start to finish, and we are so proud to have put so many smiles on so many faces. I would like to thank everyone involved in making this day one we will all remember for years to come.”
Ms Garbutt is holding a get together at the Hilton in Leeds city centre, this Sunday from 11am-3pm, for children and families living with heart conditions.