By Elaine Keogh
A 7-year-old boy who fell in love with Michael Jackson while recovering from open heart surgery, had a ‘Thriller’ time at the Michael Jackson tribute show at the Gaiety Theatre this week.
Sam Carroll, who was once the sickest child in Ireland, has learned all the moves to the song and is “Michael Jackson mad,” according to his dad Gary.
Sam was just 2 days old when it was discovered he has a congenital heart problem. It means that one day he will need a heart transplant at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital.
After his third open heart surgery four years ago, where doctors bypassed the underdeveloped part of his heart, he developed Plastic Bronchitis a rare side effect from the heart surgeries and his parents were told to say goodbye to him. “He was the sickest child in Ireland,” at the time they said.
However it was while he was defying doctors after that surgery, that he became a fan of Michael Jackson.
Gary said: “The ‘Thriller’ thing started when he was in getting his 3rd open heart surgery in Oct 2013 and the staff of the hospital put on a thriller dance and he was fascinated by it and it has just gone on from there.”
At their home in Stamullen, Co. Meath, “He has us tormented to put the music on to dance to and he literally stands in front of the telly watching YouTube videos of Michael Jackson dancing.”
Gary, wife Christine and daughter Emily (11) joined Sam as he got the chance to go backstage and meet the Thriller cast before their performance in the Gaiety on Monday night.
“They had seen Sam's videos of him dancing and wanted to meet him before the show. It made his day to meet them.”
The show was absolutely amazing. Sam and Emily are in awe at the amazing singing and dancing.”
“All the cast were amazing especially Britt Quentin, Eddy Lima, and manager Phil Watts but honestly everybody was so accommodating to us all. We cannot thank them enough for making this special memory for Sam. It was truly a night he will never forget.”