A Limavady schoolboy is on a mission to meet his hero, astronaut Tim Peake.
Hayden Geraghty, who attends Rossmar Special School in Limavady, would love to meet European Space Agency astronaut, Tim Peake, when he is in Belfast later this month.
I’m so grateful for the impact Tim Peake has made on my son’s life, and he’s not even aware of this.Limavady mum, Caroline Geraghty
Hayden’s mum, Caroline, said ever since her six-year-old son - who has autism - saw Tim Peake on television last year, the change in normally quiet little boy has been “unbelievable”.
“When Hayden was diagnosed with autism, it was tough, but I wouldn’t have him any other way,” said Caroline.
“Before his diagnosis, Hayden would have obsessions that would change from one month to the next, but on December 15th last year something captured his attention on television; the launch of astronaut Tim Peake heading off in the rocket off to the International Space Station (ISS). He was mesmerised,” said Caroline.
“From that day Hayden took an even bigger interest in space and followed Tim’s Principia mission and watched all the live feeds.
“Conversations started to become more frequent about Tim and he became known as “Hayden’s hero”. He followed Tim’s Principia mission and watched all the live feeds. It’s something he has a connection with.”
Caroline said she’s noticed an improvement in Hayden’s development, his confidence, and eagerness to learn. She said he’s also doing well at school.
“The change is astonishing and amazing,” said Caroline, “and if he was able to meet his hero, it would mean the absolute world to him.”
Caroline has tickets for the Ulster Hall event on October 18th. She said she’s asked if Hayden could meet Tim Peake, but was disappointed when she was told that would not be possible. She’s hoping, however, that might change.
“I’m so grateful for the impact Tim Peake has made on my son’s life, and he’s not even aware of this,” said Caroline.
“People say it’s extreme how far I’m going, but when I see the change in Hayden and see his personality start to come out, it’s unbelievable. To meet Tim would be the icing on the cake.”