STAFF at a Hartlepool tourist attraction helped make a dream come true for a young cancer patient.
Five-year-old Joseph Molly, from Edinburgh, is described as “pirates mad” by his parents and told them he dreams of becoming a star of the seas like his hero Jack Sparrow, from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
Joseph was diagnosed with a primitive neuroectodermal tumour (PNET) in October last year and has undergone brain surgery twice as well as gruelling bouts of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
His mum, Amanda, found Hartlepool Maritime Experience on the internet and a trip was arranged through the Make a Wish Foundation when it heard of Joseph’s battle.
The Molly family left their Edinburgh home at 4.30am and Joseph’s dream came true when he was treated to VIP treatment by staff at the Historic Quay.
Quay guide Stuart Hanrahan, who plays the role of Jack Sparrow during pirate-themed events, said: “When we heard about Joseph through the Make a Wish Foundation we were only too happy to help.
“The two hours he spent with us made it the most rewarding day I’ve ever had.
“I did a meet and greet with him at the entrance and his face lit up when he saw me. He started chatting about the Pirates of the Caribbean and all of Jack Sparrow’s adventures. “We took him on the Trincomalee where he went in the hammock. He had his lunch and then helped me fire the cannon.
“Joseph had a wonderful time. The ship Adventure was docked alongside the Wingfield Castle and I asked him if he wanted to help me commandeer it, which of course he did.
“He had his plastic sword with him and we staged a bit of a fight with one of the lads who had a wetsuit on under his pirate suit. He ended up going overboard in the water before we sailed about the marina.”
The Make a Wish Foundation is a charity that grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening illnesses.
Amanda thanked everyone who helped to arrange the day. She said: “During his longer stays in hospital Joseph would watch Pirates of the Caribbean. He’s always been obsessed with pirates.
“He woke up at 4.30am full of beans for his day ahead. It was a real opportunity to celebrate all the things Joseph loves most. The look on his face said it all, so a big thank you to everyone for arranging it.”
Stuart said: “Joseph was a lovely little lad and he sent us a lovely card and some photos to say thank you to us. It was a lovely touch.”