A 12-year-old boy in remission from leukemia got to fulfill a childhood fantasy when his Make-A-Wish Foundation wish to “blow stuff up” was granted.
Make-A-Wish, which arranges experiences described as “wishes” to children with life-threatening medical conditions, granted this very unusual request to Declan who spent two full days having an explosive party with Australian Federal Police (AFP) and their Specialist Response Group. He was put through his paces at a training village learning how to detonate explosive charges.
Led by the group’s sergeant, Peter Murphy, who heads up the breaching team, Declan was shown the ins-and-outs of working with explosives. Murphy was impressed with his student.
He told ABC News in Australia, “He’s got an aptitude. I’m not sure what he actually expected, but once he started functioning a couple … he was getting into it. He was pretty excited about it but I think the family got a bit of a kick out of it too.”
In the YouTube video from Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Policing, a helmeted Declan gleefully sets off a charge that blows out the door of a storage container. The commander next to him yells, “Firing,” as he sets off the charge to blow another door out of the other side. The explosions seemed to be getting bigger as the next door blows up in front of a brick wall, then the brick wall gets blown to smithereens.
Declan’s mother who had been by her child’s side through seven months of chemo in the last year, 60 days in the hospital, and 30-plus blood transfusions was overwhelmed by the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s generosity. She said, “The overall experience for Declan’s wish has been amazing. It’s beyond our expectations. He wanted to just blow something up and he did that which was awesome.”
Declan’s demolition exercises didn’t end there. To top it all off he got he got to participate in a mock hostage crisis drill while wearing full SWAT gear, drive around in an armored vehicle, and go for a family ride in a police speed boat. The AFP were only too happy to have him around.
“It’s a special opportunity for us to get involved with someone who’s going through a bit of a tough time. If we can do anything to brighten his day or offer him a happy experience we’re more than happy to do that,” said Sergeant Murphy.
The grand finale was a major explosion behind an armored police car with the family and police calmly posing in front of it. Declan’s name looks to be etched in smoke on one of the blown-out doors.
He would’ve made any movie pyro-technician proud.
Watch the full video here.
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