A big smile lights up the face of a terminally ill two-year-old as he pushes down the plunger to switch on a village’s Christmas lights.
Kaiden Griffin was given the honour of turning on the lights in North Creake after inspiring villagers with his bravery.
The youngster was born with a complex heart defect but has refuses to let it stand in the way of his happiness.
Last year, his parents Kyra Welch and Kieron Griffin received the heartbreaking news that Kaiden’s condition was inoperable.
But the family are determined to make each Christmas count.
Miss Welsh said of the switch on: “Kaiden was over the moon and had a big smile on his face.”
The family are also starting a charity to help others.
Miss Welch, of North Creake, said: “He wasn’t even one when we found out and when it came to his first birthday that was a real milestone. In seven months, he is going to be three and we didn’t know if he was going to see his second birthday or third Christmas. We do everything we can to make it lovely.”
Doctors had diagnosed a problem with Kaiden’s heart before he was born.
But Miss Welch and Mr Griffin, of Holt, undertook some research on the condition and found that it could be treated.
Kaiden, who was born with half-a-heart, was just three days old when he had his first operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
Last May, he was admitted into hospital when a camera was inserted into his arteries.
But doctors learned the condition was much more serious than expected.
Miss Welch said: “They said to us: ‘You are going to have to take him home and enjoy him’.
“He is defying expectations. The doctors told us last year that his condition is so severe that he shouldn’t be alive.
“That made me and Kieron realise that if he is not supposed to be alive now we just have to give him the best life we can.
“It was hard to hear that as a parent but we have learned to live with it.
“But with Kaiden you don’t get chance to think about it much.”
The family go along to Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital for regular check-ups and doctors are happy with the youngster’s progress.
While the condition makes Kaiden tire quickly and he sometimes has a blue tinge to his skin, the youngster is as lively as any young boy.
He enjoys riding his mum’s pony and often leads it around the field.
Miss Welch said: “He is one of the happiest children I know.
“He refuses to let it stop him doing anything.”
Last year, the family enjoyed a magical Christmas at Disneyland Paris after people rallied around to raise £2,500.
Now they are hoping to do something special for other families in a similar situation.
Miss Welch is setting up the Kaiden’s Big Fight charity.
She has organised a number of fundraising events including a dog show and horse ride to support their charity.
Miss Welch said: “You don’t know how long you have with any child and want to make every minute count.
“I wanted to set up a charity to help families like ourselves with children who have a terminal illness or a condition which affects their quality of life. I have held four charity horse rides which have raised quite a lot of money.
“We have made donations to other families with the money we raise.”
The festive period has got off to a great start for Kaiden after being invited to switch on the lights, with help from his cousin Cody.
Miss Welch said: “He was excited to push down the plunger and see the lights come on.
“He loves Christmas.”
The family are looking forward to a special Christmas together.
Kaiden and his mum have been busy making Christmas cards for friends and family since October.
Miss Welch said: “Christmas is definitely a favourite time of year for us.”
If you would like to help to support the family’s charity work go to:www.facebook.com/Kaidensbigjourney/
Alternatively you can contact Miss Welch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org