.

By Jesse Graham

Thursday, 16 February was the culmination of a year and a half of campaigning for the family of Samuel Straub-Raeis, when the 11-year-old French boy met his first platypus.
Samuel’s family visited Healesville Sanctuary on Thursday morning for a tour and a wade with Yami the platypus, following a fund-raising campaign that began in September, 2015.
The campaign was started by Samuel’s physiotherapist in France, as the wheelchair-bound 11-year-old suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – a rare disease that causes muscle weakness and results in a shorter life expectancy.
The goal of the campaign was simple – to get Samuel across to Australia to meet his favourite animal, the platypus.
Through donations from 116 people and organisations, 7960 euros (roughly $11,038 Australian dollars) was raised to get Samuel to Australia and to the sanctuary.
“Because the illness does not forget them, let’s help Samuel and his family to forget it a little, by leaving for a wonderful and unforgettable journey,” a translated post on the crowdfunding page read.
After the public platypus show at the sanctuary on the Thursday, Samuel and his father Thomas hopped into the platypus tank with keeper, Jessica Thomas, and Yami the platypus.
The pair was able to pat the platypus while Ms Thomas told them about the animal, while his mother, Magali, and sister, Elisa, looked on.
Following the wade, Ms Thomas brought a second platypus out for Elisa to pat before the family continued their tour of the sanctuary, finishing the day with a visit to Phillip Island to see the penguins.
“This is it. Samuel made his dream come true!” a post on the Realiser le reve de Samuel (Realising the dream of Samuel) Facebook page read.
“We dedicate this post to all persons who have enabled this moment so unique to have taken place! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou!”

Comments are closed.

More News

A great night’s entertainment is guaranteed for theatregoers at the Arts Centre Warburton this Saturday 19 August. On stage will ...

Opposition spokesperson on Planning and Local Government, David Davis, has declared his support for ensuring the Yarra Ranges Enterprise Centre (...

Vietnam veterans were applauded as they marched the length of Warburton on Sunday to commemorate the 521 Australians who died in ...

A woman was taken to Maroondah Hospital after a bus and car collided in Woori Yallock on the Warburton Highway ...

To mark the Lions International centenary, Healesville Lions Club delivered grants of more than $40,000 to local community groups. Presenting the ...

Catherine Crow prefers to ‘fly under the radar’, but as she accepted Healesville Rotary Club’s Ron Goding Award 2017-’18, ...

Latest Sport

Ladies from the Yarra Ranges flocked to Woori Yallock to see Melbourne Vixens Goal Shooter Mwai Kumwenda talk at the ...

With three rounds to go in Division 1, Wandin have snuck in to first spot but only by half a game, ...

The Eastern Region Girls Football competition kicked off its final series on the weekend, with the Healesville under-12s taking ...