BETHPAGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — As children everywhere excitedly opened their presents this Christmas Day, a big wish came true for one young boy on Long Island living with autism.
As CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported exclusively, Michael Clyne, 10, of Bethpage, stared in amazement as he unwrapped the cherished ginger cat wooden pull toy.
Just weeks ago, it seemed like he would never hold it in his hands. The toy was discontinued a decade ago by its manufacturer.
But earlier this month, the youngster – who rarely speaks to strangers – sat down in Santa’s lap at a community event and asked him to deliver it for Christmas.
“When he brought it to Santa, I couldn’t believe that he made that connection,” said Michael’s mother, Jeanie Shelton-Clyne. “It just meant so much.”
Michael’s mother desperately searched in vain online – even contacting the London-based manufacturer, Apple Pie Toys. Just when all hope seemed lost, one of the company’s retired executives found the only known original ginger toy stored away in his California basement.
Richard Tomasco shipped it overnight express, and after Michael opened it, they spoke excitedly by phone.
“I’m so happy you got your kitty!” said Tomasco.
Young Michael wasted no time in taking his ginger cat on a tour of the home. His older sister, Kate, is equally delighted that her brother’s Christmas wish was fulfilled.
“Well, my friends all love Michael. They think this whole thing is adorable,” said Michael’s sister,
It’s great. It means a lot to him.”
They were already big believers in Santa, but this year, the family’s celebration seems magical.
“It’s just amazing how it came together. We’ve been searching for this for so long,” Shelton-Clyne said. “Really, the whole world came together for my son. I can’t express my gratitude enough. It really is a Christmas miracle.”
Now, Michael can’t stop saying the name of his prized possession — even as the family is sending out holiday cards reading, “Yes Michael, there is a Santa Claus.”
Michael’s story is going viral on blogs across the country and on Facebook. His family said they even heard from reports in Europe.