What could've potentially been a horrible holiday for the Shanahan family instead resulted in what will surely be one of their most memorable.
Back in July, in the small Irish town of Limerick, the Shanahan family was staying at the Strand Hotel when two-year-old Neil found his way to the sixth floor. Tragically, the toddler found the balcony and fell, plummeting 60 feet and landing on patio furniture. Neil's family kept a vigil at his bedside while he was treated at Temple Street Children's Hospital until he eventually recovered from his injuries and could return home.
To celebrate the miraculous recovery, the mayor of Limerick, Kieran O'Hanlon, invited the Shanahan family to help them kick off holiday festivities at their "Light Up Limerick" event, along with a choir, street performers, and the evening's second biggest guest, Santa Claus.
Neil's father Mike could hardly contain his joy at the opportunity to join the event, saying, "It was an incredible experience tonight. Neil, having had so many medics around him during his recovery, is well used to attention and he lapped it all up. He loved it."
Neil's mother Martina echoed Mike's sentiments, confessing, "I'm not sure we can possibly have a better Christmas than this. It could have been the worst Christmas imaginable but it's turned out to be the one we are most grateful for because Neil is with us."
Martina also pointed out that not all families are as lucky as theirs, and those families were in their hearts. "It does make us think, at the same time, of those who have not been so lucky and our hearts really go out to them," said Martina.
Of the incredible situation, mayor O'Hanlon expressed, "We're delighted to have had this incredible young man with us tonight. His story is one that gives us all hope and Christmas is a great time for hope. To see the smile on his face and his parents' face was fantastic."
Do you have any incredible holiday stories of when you were a kid? Let us know your most memorable holiday in the comments.
[H/T The Journal]