Cieran Kelso has loved Winter the dolphin ever since he saw her swim with her prosthetic tail in the movie "Dolphin's Tale."
The 8-year-old from England relates to Winter because he lost both his legs to meningitis when he was just 13months old. On Sunday, Kelso got to meet his aquatic hero after tourism officials flew him and his family to Florida for a swim with Winter at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. His father, Gary, raised enough money to buy his son prosthetic flippers, BBC News reported.
"There are some pretty raw feelings that go into seeing Cieran swim with the dolphin. His first words when he saw the film was 'Winter's disabled, just like me,'" Gary Kelso told The Tampa Bay Times. "It's just been a dolphin on a film for a long time and now it's real.. It's just a dream come true."
According to Kelso's blog, he is only the second person to swim with Winter, other than her trainers and actors from the film.
"[Swimming with dolphins] was the best thing anyone could ever have," Cieran Kelso told the BBC when he returned to England.
"The whole holiday went far too fast and we were very sad to come home," he wrote in his blog. "But the memories will stay with us forever."