When James Dutton tweeted about trying to locate an old Postman Pat video for his autistic 19-year-old son, he never imagined that it would go viral.
His son, Thomas, loves Postman Pat and had written to Santa asking for a particular video tape called Postman Pat's Prize Postbag:
Does anyone have or know of anyone who may still have this VHS? My severely autistic son Thomas has written it on his Xmas list...please let me know! pic.twitter.com/wAnE93dbMv— James Dutton (@jdutton69) 12 November 2017
The post has since received over 7,000 retweets, including one from Strictly Come Dancing star Brendan Cole.
Speaking to The Huffington Post, Dutton says that he never expected it to get so much online attention:
“I didn't imagine when I posted my original tweet yesterday that it would gain quite so much momentum.”
“My son Thomas loved watching ‘Postman Pat’ as well as many of the other children’s characters when he was smaller," he continued.
“Now he is always watching them on YouTube but loves having the old VHS boxes as well. He’s been obsessed since he was 18 months old.”
A few days previous to the tweet, Thomas wrote to Santa. James and Tom's mother, Cindy, were able to secure everything on the list, apart from that particular VHS.
In desperation, he decided to try Twitter. His plea was successful, and a VHS collector who saw Strictly's Brendan Cole's retweet came forward:
STOP PRESS!! Thanks to wonderful @jilly284 seeing a retweet from @BrendanCole a copy's been found! The response has been absolutely overwhelming and I'm so grateful to everyone for taking the time to give advice, or search in attics! The heartwarming side of human nature— James Dutton (@jdutton69) 14 November 2017
Dutton said that finding the VHS showed the "heartwarming side of human nature."
We're so glad to see how special this Christmas will be for Thomas and the Dutton family!