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Messages of support after six-year-old Charlie Ryan loses cancer battle

PUBLISHED: 11:58 06 February 2014 | UPDATED: 11:58 06 February 2014

Charlie Ryan with mum Sam and dad Tony.
Photo: Bill Smith

Charlie Ryan with mum Sam and dad Tony. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2013

The parents of Charlie Ryan have paid moving tribute to their “beautiful brave boy”, who has died from cancer at six years old.

Messages of support and sympathy have been flooding in from around the globe since the news was confirmed yesterday that Charlie had lost his three-year battle with neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nervous system.

Writing on Charlie’s Facebook page, his parents Tony Ryan and Sam Stroud said his death on Tuesday night had left “a hole in our hearts that can never be replaced”, with more than 1,000 people also leaving their tributes on the site.

They wrote: “Our beautiful, beautiful brave boy sadly lost his fight yesterday evening. We are all total devastated by his huge loss.

“He was an incredible son who never let this disease get him down and he fought it every step of the way.”

Charlie’s diagnosis on New Year’s Eve 2010 began a traumatic three-year cycle of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, setbacks and false dawns, with him being given the all-clear three times, most recently in September 2013, only for the cancer to return in November.

Before Christmas, Charlie, his parents and his four-year-old sister Orla returned to Norwich from Australia, where they had moved to start a new life in 2008, because he wanted to spend Christmas surrounded by his relatives in Costessey.

He had suffered three strokes in the past six months and, as his condition deteriorated, he was treated at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where he received near-daily platelet transfusions.

“There is a hole in our hearts that can never be replaced but we are so honoured to have had him in our lives,” added his parents.

“We are so proud to be his parents. Orla has lost her amazing big brother who she adored. Forever in our hearts, forever six. Sleep tight baby, no more pain. We love you.”

Last month, Miss Stroud said Charlie had wanted to spent Christmas in Norwich with his grandmother and cousins, though he knew he was getting sicker and doctors were preparing the family for the worst.

“They told us there is nothing more they can do so there’s not much time left unless a miracle comes up,” she said.

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