AN INSPIRING young Irish boy has become an overnight sensation following his heart-warming appearance on the annual Late Late Toy Show.
The Toy Show special has delivered many memorable moments down the years involving some of the most amazing young children from across Ireland.
That was certainly true in the case of Adam King from east Cork.
Adam was born with a condition called osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), which causes brittle bones and stunted growth. It also makes him highly prone to fractures.
However, as he explained to host Ryan Tubridy, that isn’t going to stand in the way of him achieving his dream of becoming a captain in NASA.
In one of the most powerful moments of show, Adam defied his condition by climbing out of his wheelchair to explain that while his brittle bones may prevent him from being an astronaut, he is more than capable of being among the team working on the ground.
Adam was then treated to a surprise visit from his own personal hero, John Doyle, a man he fondly remembers as “the nicest hospital porter in Ireland” and someone he knew well from his stays at Temple St Children’s Hospital in Dublin.
— The Late Late Show (@RTELateLateShow) November 27, 2020
Adam was delighted to see his friend John – and the feeling was mutual with the frontline worker describing to viewers how the young boy “has such an infectious smile that even the darkest planet would light up.”
It is fair to say there was not a dry eye in the house. Or any house across Ireland or the rest of the watching world, for that matter, with Adam’s wonderful appearance sparking an outpouring of emotion on social media.
Mayo-born scientist and Irish astronaut candidate Dr. Norah Patten was among the first to show her appreciation, tweeting tweeted the young boy: “Adam, you’re a star. I would love to meet you sometime and hear all about your love of #space"
Per aspera ad Astra, Adam. Keep looking to the stars young man. In the meantime, we'll reach out to our friends @NASA & see if they can't help bring your dreams a little closer. pic.twitter.com/DqRZwdziDQ
— Embassy of Ireland USA (@IrelandEmbUSA) November 27, 2020
The Irish Embassy in Washington also tweeted the youngster promising to contact NASA on his behalf.
“Per aspera ad Astra, Adam. Keep looking to the stars young man. In the meantime, we'll reach out to our friends @NASA & see if they can't help bring your dreams a little closer.”
— Tim Peake (@astro_timpeake) November 28, 2020
British astronaut Tim Peake was similarly effusive.
"What a superstar you are Adam, warming hearts when we need it most. We need to get you into Mission Control," he tweeted.
There was even a message from Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who wrote: “Adam - I’ve been lucky enough to CAPCOM many spaceflights. We should talk space together. Take care, be good – Chris"
— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) November 28, 2020
Incredibly, NASA also responded to Adam’s story with a tweet telling the brave young boy they “can’t wait for him to one day join our team”.
“Adam’s kind heart and adventurous spirit inspires us,” the US space agency wrote.
“There’s space for everybody at NASA, and we can’t wait for him to one day join our team of dreamers. We’ll be here when he’s ready.”
🌟 Adam’s kind heart and adventurous spirit inspires us.
There’s space for everybody at NASA, and we can’t wait for him to one day join our team of dreamers. We’ll be here when he’s ready. 🌟 pic.twitter.com/WJCzue9O13
— NASA (@NASA) November 28, 2020
Responding to the outpouring of emotion, Adam’s dad David tweeted out his thanks to all of those who helped make his son feel so special.
"Time to dream about space - he's already shooting for the stars. Thank you all so much. Especially thanks to all the @RTELateLateShow."
Later, David returned to respond to NASA's surprise message.
He wrote: "THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE!! Thank you @NASA."
‘You’ve lifted the spirits of our son, of our family…of Ireland.’
Adam’s heart-warming appearance came on a night when the Late Late Toy Show raised over €6 million for Irish charities.
Host Ryan Tubridy explained: "Every year on the Toy Show we are inspired by children across Ireland, with stories of hope, resilience and triumph over adversity. In this exceptional year, we have been moved by the generosity of the children of Ireland as they have looked out for one another and those less fortunate in their communities.
"Tonight on the Toy Show we launch this appeal to spread the Toy Show magic across the year to children who need it most."