10-year-old Zaid lives in Coventry with his mum, dad and little sister. He loves cars! Sponsor his One True Wish to be a motorsport engineer for the day.
Since he was a 10-month-old baby, Zaid has battled dangerous seizures caused by a severe and rare genetic mutation called Dravet Syndrome. One of Zaid’s seizures could be fatal at any time, so the family are always on alert.
He has autism, limited speech and is a bit wobbly on his feet as a result of the seizures attacking his brain. Zaid is desperate to make friends but finds it hard to communicate with children his own age and mum, Sophie, can tell this frustrates and saddens him.
For a long time, doctors didn’t know what was causing the seizures. Zaid was failing all the basic tests put to him and Sophie felt very isolated. “When we heard the diagnosis, I was in shock, but I still thought he would grow up and be independent. Now we know differently.”
But happy-chappy Zaid has learned to adapt, and his family have too. Most recently, Sophie is proud of Zaid for learning to jump on a trampoline and how to get himself a drink – though he still needs to learn how to turn the tap off again after he’s finished filling his cup! These are simple yet major milestones for Zaid.
Zaid loves anything with wheels. The motion of being in a car helps Zaid to relax, and he loves being around mechanics so his mum, Sophie, often takes him over to Kwik Fit.
His favourite thing is asking his mum to pop up the bonnet on the car so he can see the engine.
Zaid wishes to be a motorsport engineer – he will be going to a racetrack and meeting engineers and mechanics who will spend time with him, tinkering with cars and showing him around the paddocks where the cars are kept on racedays.
The family will travel by limousine to Zaid’s wish, and Sophie says Zaid will probably want to sit up front with the limo driver and want him to pop up the bonnet so he can see the engine!
Give Zaid and his family the opportunity to look past his limitations and overcome their anxieties by focussing on a day filled with joy and hope for the future.