A little boy who suffers from one of the world’s rarest conditions had a superhero send off on his dream trip to America.
Jake Roberts thought his trip was still a week away - but early yesterday morning, he was woken by his mum Steph Roberts and told “We’re going today.”
The eight-year-old, from Jarrow, who has Nager Syndrome – one of the world’s rarest medical conditions, which affects the development of the face, hands and arms – has gone to a gathering in New Orleans of others who have the condition.
It will be the first time the Valley View Primary School pupil will meet others who have been diagnosed with the medical condition – who he affectionately calls “my team”.
Jake was greeted at his home by Captain America at 6.30am before going to Newcastle Airport in a limo.
There he was met by a team from Authentic Replica Costumes and North East Avengers including Ironman, the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Loki and a ghostbuster.
I am so happy. Thank you everyone - I’m a lucky boy.Jake Roberts
The team posed for pictures with Jake and waited with the pair while they completed their check-in.
Captain America then accompanied them to security.
The trip was made possible by a fundraising effort by people and business in South Tyneside.
Jake said: “I’m really excited and looking forward to the plane. It was a surprise and I am so happy.
“Thank you everyone. I’m a lucky boy.”
Miss Roberts said: “Jake thought he still had eight more sleeps until he was going, so when he got up this morning and sat down for breakfast, I had a surprise for him.
“I said ‘We’re going to America today’ and he just couldn’t believe it.
“It is just something I never thought would happen but, thanks to the generosity of everyone, I’m being able to make my little boy’s dream come true.
“He was so shocked and surprised when Captain America came to the house. And then to see everyone at the airport, really has made it all that more special for him.
“I really can’t thank everyone enough.”
Craig (Ironman) Elliott said: “My wife saw a post on Facebook about Jake and we just wanted to do something special for him. It has been very emotional.
“It was very humbling, with everything he has been through. He is still such a happy boy.
“We are all dads and we have all been up since 5am but to see Jake’s response to us all being here I would have got up at 3am to meet him.
“He is an absolutely amazing child, and what was so special was he went round us all to say goodbye, and made sure he didn’t leave any of us out – he’s just terrific.”
Miss Roberts would like to thank the Port of Tyne, CJs Convenience Store, Community Corner and Barbarella in Jarrow and the people of South Tyneside for helping to make the trip possible as well as Frozen Store Direct and ARC and North East Avengers for helping to make the departure extra special.