It isn’t easy to tread through rocky terrain to get to your dream destination when you’re wheelchair-bound with cerebral palsy. It is, though, when you have a team of police officers determined to make your dream come true.
Sidney Cook is 11. And one item loomed large over all others on his family’s bucket list: to visit Cape York, the northernmost point of the continent of Australia.
A sign at the tip of Cape York is a popular tourist attraction and it had been the Cook family’s dream trip for years. But Sidney has cerebral palsy, and the path to the top winds is a difficult hike. So the family dream took a backseat. There it would stay had a Bamaga police officer not been surfing a Cape York Facebook page.
“G’day all,” it read, “we are heading to the cape in August & wondering how we can get our disabled son up the very tip.”
Bamaga is a small police force in about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Cape York tip.
When Police Senior Constable Talina O’Brien saw the post, she decided the department should jump in.
“We had a local gentleman construct a perfect little lift-chair for Sidney so he was set up nice and comfortably and we carried him down to the sign,” O’Brien said.
Officers came in on their days off to be a part of the treat.
The excitement was mutual when the moment finally arrived.
“It was awesome seeing Sidney’s little face light up as we came over the ridge and up ahead we could see the tip sign. It wasn’t far away and we were nearly there,” O’Brien recounted.
“It was an awesome day for all of us and an absolute privilege to be a part of this journey.”
The Cooks weren’t holding their breaths when they posted their plea on Facebook. But the trip turned out to be nothing short of a dream.
“Words will never be able to express how much we appreciate the assistance that the Bamaga Police gave us, I don’t think we will ever be able to thank them enough for everything they have done,” Sidney’s mom, Narelle, said.