Local community rallies round Irish boy with birthday surprise featuring Elmo and friends
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Local community rallies round Irish boy with birthday surprise featuring Elmo and friends

A BOY in Northern Ireland enjoyed a visit from a very special guest on his 14th birthday as part of a celebration organised his local community. 

Thomas Smith Harrison had originally been set to spend his birthday in sunny Salou, Spain, where he was due to watch his favourite TV character, Sesame Street’s Elmo, perform in concert. 

However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, he and his family were unable to travel. 

The news left Thomas understandably upset, given his love of all things Sesame Street. 

But, after his mother Carmel Smith spoke to a friend about how devastated her son was by the news, a plan swung into action that saw people from across the local community pitching in. 

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The idea was simple: if Thomas couldn’t get to Elmo over on Sesame Street, Elmo would come to him. 

Determined to make this young man’s birthday, one to remember, community food bank volunteers, local musician Damien Quinn and a few members of the local fire brigade dropped in to pay Thomas a visit on his big day. 

They brought with them cake, songs and a few special guests for good measure, with Elmo, Barney and Big Bird all making a surprise appearance – much to the delight of Thomas. 

A truly special occasion for all involved, Carmel was on hand to capture some magical pictures from the day’s festivities, which were shared on Facebook alongside her heartfelt thanks. 

"Words cannot express how grateful we are as a family for everyone’s help in making this an unforgettable day for Thomas who is still quite confused why he cannot go to Salou,” she wrote. 

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“To all of Thomas’ friends who came to wish him happy birthday, thank you all very much!”