A schoolboy whose Olympic summer hopes were dashed when he was struck down by serious illness was all smiles after he struck double gold with an unexpected hospital visitor.
Sports fan ten-year-old Samuel Clark had his dreams of going to the Olympic stadium in London ruined when he was taken ill with a painful stomach condition which has meant he has been bed-bound in hospital for seven weeks.
But thanks to the staff on Kingfisher ward at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester, the Salway Ash School pupil found an Olympic gold medallist sitting at his bedside in the shape of Dorset’s double trap champion shooter Peter Wilson.
And as if that weren’t enough, Sam, known as Sammy Jim, soon found himself chatting on the phone to the new England Test cricket captain Alastair Cook.
Sam loves sports and plays competitive water polo, football and swims.
He has severe neuropathic pain caused by nerve damage in his abdomen and ward staff asked him to write a wish-list of things that would help in on the road to recovery.
Having been bitterly disappointed to miss his trip to London to see three different Olympic events, at the top of his list was to meet an Olympic gold medallist.
Kingfisher ward’s play specialist Sally Burnham swung into action and Sam’s dreams came true when he discovered his special visitor was Peter Wilson – bearing his precious medal.
“Sam spent the next hour wearing the most beautiful prize that any sports person could ever wish to earn and talking to Peter on how he achieved it,” said Sam’s father David Clark.
“And it didn’t end there. Peter asked if Sam was interested in cricket because his best mate is Alastair Cook, the newly appointed England cricket captain.
“He said ‘Let’s try to get Cookie on the phone to talk to you.’ “Sam sat there with the biggest grin on his face – sitting next to Peter Wilson while talking to Alastair Cook on the phone.”
Mr Clark said that Sam wants to thank everyone involved in making that day the best of his life.
“It’s an inspiration to him to get his feet firmly back on the road to recovery,” he said.
“And Peter said that when Sam can walk again he will take him up to Clay Pigeon where he trains and they will have a bacon buttie together and walk around the club!”