Wrexham boy dies after battling brain tumour

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

A WREXHAM mother has paid tribute to her nine-year-old “little hero” who has died after a brave battle with a brain tumour.

Alice Hedley described her son Arthur as a “real-life superhero” after he endured months of intense radiotherapy and chemotherapy and never once complained.

The family say colours can be worn in celebration of Arthur’s life at a funeral service at 1pm on Saturday at All Saints Church in Pen-y-Lan followed by the interment in the churchyard.

Arthur, who was a normal healthy young boy before, was diagnosed with a type of brain tumour called medula blastoma in February 2008.

He was given just a 17 per cent chance of surviving and underwent life-threatening brain surgery at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.

In the months that followed, the former pupil of Eyton Primary School endured radiotherapy and chemotherapy and was given the all clear in August 2008.

Mum Alice, of Gyfelia, between Johnstown and Eyton, said Arthur, who loved art, seemed much better but was advised to continue with the cancer treatment.

She said the family were devastated when a test in August 2009 revealed the cancer had come back.

“I was so angry and I didn’t want to believe it,” said Alice, who has worked as an art mentor volunteer in local schools.

“He seemed to be OK, but I felt they had overdone it on the chemotherapy.

“But from a medical point of view, the treatment would help him to have a bit more of his life.

“He wasn’t like a normal little boy; he was a little boy who was going through this horrendous thing and he never stopped being smiley.”

Alice and her husband, James, did not tell Arthur or his three sisters – Barbar, 17, Lilly, 16 or Minnie, 13 – that the cancer had come back because they wanted Arthur to enjoy the last moments of his life in happiness.

He enjoyed family holidays and a trip to Legoland courtesy of the Make a Wish Foundation in the summer of last year.

Earlier this month, though, Arthur became ill and suffered pneumonia.
He died with his parents, Alice and James, at his bedside at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital on Thursday, January 21.

Alice said: “It was traumatic because he had a seizure and was put in an induced coma and was on morphine for the pain.

“I sat and held his hand all night and I fell asleep at about 4am.

“When I woke up again he was gone. We felt devastated.

“We never ever sat there thinking he was going to die. We always thought he was going to get better.”

Speaking about her son’s life, Alice, who spent every single day with him throughout his illness, said: “He was such a brave little boy. He was our real life superhero.

“He was the bravest little boy and he never ever complained, even though he had to go for all the treatments. He was my little hero.

“He was weak so couldn’t rush about like a normal little boy but he was cheerful and chatty and smiley.”

His sister, Barbar, said: “We loved him to bits. He was so cute.

“He loved polar bears, he loved Lego and he loved tractors. He also loved watching tv programmes like Horrid Henry, Shaun the Sheep and the Little Red Tractor.”

Alice added a thank you to workers on the children’s ward of Wrexham Maelor Hospital for caring for Arthur so well and especially to Martin McSpaden for making his last days as comfortable as they could.

Any donations, if desired, can be shared between All Saints Church and CLIC Sargent, a charit y caring for children and young people with cancer.

See full story in the Leader

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