A true fighter who touched many hearts

Fundrais­ing con­tin­ues in mem­ory of tod­dler

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Will Ack­er­mann will.ack­er­mann@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A TOD­DLER from Uxbridge has lost his battle with a rare ‘brain­shrink­ing’ ill­ness which af­fects only six chil­dren world­wide.

Oliver Joyce died on Thurs­day, April 23, sur­rounded by his fam­ily, af­ter en­ter­ing Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal with pneu­mo­nia last month.

The three-year-old was born with OPCA, a life­lim­it­ing ill­ness that usu­ally af­fects adults. At eight months old, he be­came the only child in Eng­land to be di­ag­nosed with the de­gen­er­a­tive dis­or­der, which has no known cure.

His aunt, Amy Joyce, wrote on Fri­day: “Last night Oliver peace­fully took his last breath in his sleep and we were all by his side.

“He was a true fighter till the end and has touched so many hearts! We all love you so much Boo Boo and know you’re in a bet­ter place now.”

Oliver was born pre­ma­ture at 26 weeks, with OPCA, which causes the de­gen­er­a­tion of neu­rons in spe­cific ar­eas of the brain.

Miss Joyce set up a fund­ing page to raise aware­ness of the con­di­tion, as well as to help Oliver’s par­ents, Ge­orge Joyce and Amie Finch, who have been un­able to work while act­ing as his full-time car­ers.

Well-wish­ers

have do­nated more than £4,500 since the page was launched a month ago.

The fam­ily plan to use the money to help pay for Oliver’s fu­neral – de­tails of which have yet to be fi­nalised – be­fore do­nat­ing any that is left over to Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal and Great Or­mond Street Hos­pi­tal.

Miss Joyce wrote on Face­book: “Every­body.... Thank you so much for your lovely words of sup­port, which mean so much to Oliver’s mum, dad and sib­lings.

“Be­cause of

Oliver’s ill­ness his mum and dad had to care for him full time. This meant living on benefits.

“Please find it in your hearts to con­tinue do­nat­ing to Oliver’s fund, so that we can give our brave lit­tle boy the send­off he de­serves.

“Thank you so much for your dona­tions.”

To do­nate, visit www. go­fundme.com/qaz4tg

Three-year-old Oliver Joyce

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