An 11-year-old Dutch boy with a metabolic disorder has fulfilled his dream of visiting his beloved football team FC Utrecht and speaking with the players just hours before he died of his condition.
Seb Huismann from Nieuwegein in the Dutch province of Utrecht died on the evening of 24th July, just hours after fulfilling his dream of visiting the stadium one last time.
Family members and FC Utrecht representatives organised the special trip on the morning of 24th July after the boy’s condition deteriorated rapidly.
Until a few months ago, Seb was still fine, however he developed a metabolic disorder which would go on to quickly claim his life.
His mother Miranda Pepplinkhuizen said: “Seb’s illness was short and intense. He was born with a metabolic condition that often comes out strong in the teen years. It started with epilepsy and was basically untreatable. There is no medication available for it.”
Seb’s father Jeremy Huismann had always taken his son to the Galgenwaard Stadium to watch their football team FC Utrecht play.
On the morning of the boy’s death, family members organised one last outing to the stadium with the club’s hierarchy.
Jolanda Dekker of the WensAmbulance Utrecht Foundation assisted the family with organising the trip.
Dekker said: “He deteriorated very quickly. We started making arrangements at 10am and were at FC Utrecht by 2pm. That is very fast, normally we need a day (to organise something like this).”
Club officials were waiting to roll out the red carpet for the 11-year-old fan and he got to speak to several players in a video call.
Dekker said: “They had a conference call with players and then listened to music in the VIP lounge. They planned to visit the centre circle on the pitch, but he was too tired for that.”
Hours after the stadium visit, Seb passed away peacefully.
The following day, his aunt Christel Pepplinkhuizen launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover the boy’s funeral costs.
She added that “anything extra will go towards a nice monument.”
The aunt set the target at 10,000 EUR (9,047 GBP), however they promptly received over double that amount in just 24 hours.
Pepplinkhuizen said: “It is so incredibly nice and special.”
The campaign closed shortly after achieving its 10,000 EUR goal with a total of 20,957 EUR (18,960 GBP).
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.