Dad Reunited With Daughter For Christmas After 10 Months Apart
A dad who has been kept apart from his daughter for 10 months due to lockdown restrictions and the Irish Sea is looking forward to making some magical memories over the festive period after being granted a special pass onto the Isle of Man to see her.
After their emotional reunion on Friday, it's going to be plain sailing for dad and daughter until the new year.
When Paul Ellison last saw his nine-year-old daughter Bonnie in February, he told her that he'd be able to see her again at Easter.
Unfortunately, he didn't count on the world going into lockdown, and FlyBe - the island's main passenger airline - going bust.
That meant that with coronavirus resurgent across the UK, he faced the prospect of missing out on more precious time with her.
As you've probably seen in the news this week, the borders of the Isle of Man, where Bonnie moved with her mother, have been closed to non-residents for months, meaning that Paul has had to make do with video chatting.
That is, until the pair enjoyed an emotional surprise reunion on Friday at her school on the island.
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Paul had to apply for a special exemption to the rules in order to cross the seas to visit, and has also completed a period of compulsory isolation, but it's all been a small price to pay in order to make his daughter's Christmas.
Speaking to Rochdale Online, he said: "It's been a very difficult year. We've missed out on lots of time together and doing fun things like going to the park and go-karting, but we've also missed out on smaller things, like cuddles and watching television.
"I missed Bonnie's birthday this year, which was also hard."
Now that his heartfelt plea to the better nature of the island's government has been accepted, he's looking forward to a fantastic festive season.
Paul continued: "I've got a magical Christmas planned. Bonnie was last in England last Christmas and New Year, and it's been hard to bring her back because of Covid restrictions. I can't express how much I'm looking forward to just spending Christmas with my daughter,
"Bonnie's been saying to me all year that when we see each other again, we'll have a huge plate of meatballs, her favourite food.
"I've got the biggest plate of meatballs ready; the 'Bonnie and Daddy Special'."
Now, the pair will enjoy a few fun-filled weeks together before Paul heads back in January, but he hopes that things will look a little better and he'll be able to get out there more frequently in the new year.
Let's all hope that things are a bit easier by then.
Featured Image Credit: Paul Ellison
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