Santa’s letter joy for Conor

​A VISUALLY-impaired Banbridge boy had a thrilling surprise recently when he received a letter from Santa – one written in suitably large font, courtesy of sight loss charity RNIB.
Young Conor Murphy (4) with mum Jolene and dad Finbar.Young Conor Murphy (4) with mum Jolene and dad Finbar.
Young Conor Murphy (4) with mum Jolene and dad Finbar.

​Conor Murphy (4) was a much longed-for baby, born at 37 weeks.

Mum Jolene and dad Finbar were happily in their new baby ‘bubble’ and everything seemed fine.

Aged 10 weeks, however, Conor was diagnosed with foveal hypoplasia, an underdevelopment of part of the retina, and associated nystagmus, where the eyes move involuntarily from side to side.

Genetic testing has since identified a possible link to albinism.

Despite this, mum Jolene is very pragmatic in her approach.

She commented: “He has a slight misspelling in his genetic code, but he’s still just Conor, a diagnosis doesn’t change our day-to-day life.”

The Murphys have been receiving advice and support from RNIB since Conor was just six months old, and the charity wanted to make sure that Conor could experience the magic of Christmas to the full, including the joy of receiving a letter from Santa in large font.

There is already a lot of excitement in the Murphy household as December 25 approaches, and top of Conor’s list is a Paw Patrol lookout tower.

“This is the first year he really understands,” Jolene said. “Last year I sent off for a letter to Santa from a random website and when it came it was in a really scrolly text – I could hardly read it myself.

"All children should be able to share the same excitement by making Christmas accessible.”