My Special Day: Morgan meets Jenson Button
13-year-old suffers from pulmonary surfactant metabolism dysfunction
Last Updated: 06/01/14 1:57pm
In Episode 5 of My Special Day, thirteen-year-old Morgan Gwatkin has his dream come true as he meets his Formula One hero, Jenson Button, at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking.
Morgan suffers from pulmonary surfactant metabolism dysfunction, a life-limiting condition, which is causing his lungs to deteriorate. He currently has 20% lung functionality, and may need a double-lung heart transplant in the future.
Morgan told My Special Day: "I have to use my chair because I can't walk. I get out of breath easy because only 25% of my lung function works. If you walk from my room to the front room you wouldn't be out of breath, but if I did that, I would be on the floor coughing."
Having been surprised with the news that he had been selected for My Special Day - with a personal message from Jenson Button himself - Morgan arrived at the McLaren Technology Centre for an incredible experience with the team.
Morgan's mum told My Special Day: ''It'd be absolutely amazing because F1 is Morgan's life, McLaren is his team and Jenson Button is one of his heroes. He'll be made up.''
Dad said: "It'd be absolutely amazing because F1 is Morgan's life, McLaren is his team and Jenson Button is one of his heroes.''
He was welcomed by McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh and given a unique behind the scenes tour of the facility.
"We're just ordinary people here, it's an impressive building, but ask us anything," Whitmarsh said. "Let's make sure it's a great day for Morgan.''
From the trophy cabinet, to the areas where the team's F1 cars are made, Morgan was given an access-all-areas pass - going where the cameras couldn't - that even included a first glance at new 2014 McLaren driver, Kevin Magnussen, practicing in the simulator.
Morgan then spent the afternoon with his hero, Jenson Button, who showed him round his own 2013 F1 car.
Jenson told My Special Day: "It was wicked to meet Morgan. I think it's all been a whirlwind for him. He was told last night that he had the chance to come to McLaren and I must say, this place is amazing, especially for Morgan, because he knows so much about the sport!''
Provided with a detailed look at the complex buttons on Jenson's steering wheel, Morgan then experienced where Jenson spends his Sunday afternoons as he sat in the cockpit whilst chatting to the McLaren driver.
''It's really nice to see a big smile on his face. Great to see him here and I really hope he's had a very special day.''
Jenson then provided Morgan with a signed replica of his current helmet along with team merchandise as a souvenir of his big day.
But that wasn't the end to Morgan's Special Day, as he was then taken out for an exhilarating drive in a McLaren MP4-12C - with a top speed 204mph.
Reflecting on Morgan's day, his parents told My Special Day: "He'll just keep on and on, constantly talking about it - of how amazing it's been.''