For one Banbridge family, Christmas has really come early.
In fact, it felt like all their Christmasses had come at once when the Napier family discovered they will be able to welcome home Lisa, who now lives in Australia, thanks to a competition on Cool FM.
Not only that, but they will also get to meet Lisa’s husband Jackson and their baby Monroe for the first time as the family jet home thanks to the £2,000 paid towards return flights by competition sponsors Sprucefield Shopping Centre.
“We couldn’t afford to go out to Australia for either Lisa’s wedding or the birth of her daughter Monroe and it broke my parents’ hearts,” told an emotional sister Rebecca.
“Then she really, really wanted to come home for Christmas but they couldn’t get the money to do it so this is fantastic.
“We just couldn’t believe it. There are no words for how thankful we are. They have no idea what they have done for us.”
Rebecca was the lucky one to receive the all-important phone-call from Pete Snodden early on Wednesday morning.
“I don’t normally answer unknown numbers,” said Rebecca, who was soon to be very glad she made an exception.
“He didn’t have to say who he was, I knew his voice and, deep down, I knew what it was about but I still needed to hear him say it. These things don’t happen, you just hear about them happening to other people. I was crying and I went straight down to tell my mum. I couldn’t get it out quick enough to tell her.”
Rebecca even got the chance to give the news to the all-important person:
“We Facetimed Lisa straight away to tell her. They were driving and I told them to pull over but she wanted to know. I told her and then I could hear her saying ‘pull over, pull over.’
“Getting to tell her was the best feeling in the world.”
Lisa and her new family will be flown to Ireland for a two-week trip and will get to spend both Christmas and the New Year in Banbridge. For that, Rebecca is eternally grateful.
“We just can’t believe it,” she said. “There are no words for how thankful we are. Sprucefield and Cool FM have no idea what they have done.
“If it wasn’t for our friend Charlene (Mooney) as well, this would never have happened.
“She heard about it on her way home and she filled out the form straight away.
“She couldn’t find a closing date so she made a Facebook chat group with all of our family and got us all to fill one out.
“I filled one out when we were putting up the Christmas tree on Saturday.”
And now Lisa, Jackson and little Monroe will all be sitting around that tree come Christmas Day.