Boy stuck in Abu Dhabi for 18 months because of acute fear of flying
A British schoolboy who was trapped in Abu Dhabi because of his acute fear of flying touched down in Britain today – after being hypnotised on the plane.
Joe Thompson, now 12, had been due to fly back to Britain with his family last June after his father’s work contract ended.
But his acute fear of travel, including by boat or car, that developed in March 2012 meant he was unable to make the 4,500-mile journey back to Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.
He tried four times to board a plane with his family – but each time he broke down in tears and refused to fly.
Today, a year and a half after he first developed his fear, he was back on British soil after being hypnotised on the plane.
Anxiety: The schoolboy, who first moved to Abu Dhabi in 2009, became incredibly tense at certain points before the flight and so was helped by the therapist
The schoolboy, accompanied by his father Tony, 62, touched down at Heathrow following a session from internationally renowned hypnotherapist Russell Hemmings.
The schoolboy’s mother Pauline, 50, was at the airport at 5.30am to welcome her son home.
This morning, Joe said: ‘I’m so happy to be home. I can’t believe how cold it is here.
‘I just want to get home and see my dog, I haven’t seen him for two years and I just want to give him a big hug.
‘My mum and dad have been great and I’m so grateful to Russell for taking the time to help me. I just can’t wait to get home and get back to my life.’
Since being stranded out in the Gulf, Joe and his father have been renting and staying at friend’s houses to save money.
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