Flight issue may scupper Christchurch child's dying wish to see best friends

Terminal cancer patient Eddie Halstead-Steven's dying wish is to have his two best friends by his side for his fifth ...

Terminal cancer patient Eddie Halstead-Steven's dying wish is to have his two best friends by his side for his fifth birthday on Sunday.

Terminal cancer patient 4-year-old Eddie  Halstead -Stevens may not make it to his fifth birthday on Sunday. 

But if he does, his only wish is to have his twin best friends PJ and Charlotte Moriarty by his side.

A flight back to Christchurch stands in their way.

Eddie took a significant turn for the worst during his friends' trip home to the UK to visit family.

The twins' mother Anne O'Connor said the family was desperately trying to change their flights to come back to New Zealand before Eddie passed, but none of the options Virgin Atlantic airline had given them were viable. 

"If we thought Eddie was going to fade so quickly we would have never booked the trip", she said.

The three children met at Christchurch Hospital when Charlotte was being treated for a soft tissue tumour in her pelvic region; she is now in remission.  

Virgin Atlantic had offered to change the family's flights back to New Zealand for $200 but they would arrive on November 3, just days too late.

Another option which would have got them back to New Zealand on October 28 was going to cost the family over $5000 because they would have to change to flexible seats which were more expensive than their original ones.  

"Somebody must have a heart, someone must be able to pull a string . . . our credit cards are maxed, there was a Givealittle page set up for Charlotte but we have put that money aside for her future, she is only just in remission, we don't know what could happen," O'Connor said.

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She said Eddie, who was known to be "boisterous and mad for fun", had been constantly asking for PJ to come to his birthday party on November 1 through Facebook and on the phone. 

"How devastating for a little boy who has a huge party, and the one boy who he has asked to be there can't be there."

O'Connor had not yet told Charlotte and PJ how sick Eddie was but had already sent his birthday presents over to New Zealand in case they could not make it in time.

Eddie's mother, Roxana Halstead, said her son relapsed near the end of September when she was told he had a matter of months to live. 

Halstead said the cancer had spread far more quickly than they first imagined when he went for radiation treatment on October 15. 

She was not confident Eddie would live long enough to make it to his fifth birthday. 

"The oncologist said 'my crystal ball is rubbish but I think he only has a couple of weeks'. Now we are looking at days she said we might need to bring his birthday celebrations forward.

"Every day he is in more pain with more morphine, things are progressing much faster than what we expected,"  Halstead said. 

 PJ and Charlotte Moriarty are currently due to arrive back in Christchurch on November 3.

*The Halstead family are not requesting donations.

 - Stuff


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