A five-year-old boy with cancer has had his greatest wish granted – to “find the Loch Ness Monster”.
Zachary White, who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in February, has spent most of his time in hospital having to endure surgery, chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.
The youngster, from Bracknell in Berkshire, has always been “obsessed with Scotland” and his greatest wish is to visit the country, watch ice hockey, see bagpipers and find the infamous Nessie.
This week, children’s charity Rays of Sunshine has made Zachary’s dreams come true.
His mum, Katie, has said: “We have no idea why Zach is fascinated with Scotland but there was no wavering from him – he wanted to come to find Nessie.
“He loves everything to do with the country but this was number one for him. He wanted to find the monster.”
On Tuesday, Zachary was given a special Highland welcome at Loch Ness with a bagpiper heralding his arrival.
He climbed aboard the appropriately-named Nessie Hunter tour boat with his mum, dad Mark, grandparents and fifteen-month-old brother, Stanley.
As the boat entered a sheltered bay, he spotted a distinctive green curved neck and head emerging from the waters.
“I saw the Loch Ness Monster!” he said. “There’s a curve! I think he has come to see us!” he beamed.
The youngster was overwhelmed to spot the figure bobbing in the loch around 100m from the boat.
Following the excitement, Zachary’s parents said: “Seeing him back to his old self, so excited and smiling, has been fantastic.”
The trip was one of a number of treats organised for Zachary, which also saw him greeted with a heroes welcome watching Glasgow Clan play ice hockey at Braehead Arena.
Jane Sharpe, Rays of Sunshine chief executive, said: “I am so thrilled that we were able to make Zachary’s wish come true and in such a spectacular style.
“This wish clearly came from Zachary’s own imagination, inspiring the Rays of Sunshine team to go above and beyond to create the most magical experience possible.”