Heartbroken parents of a cancer-stricken boy have shared the last photo that their son asked them to take – the moment he died in his father’s arms.
Braiden Prescott, seven, died two days after being admitted to a hospice last September having battled neuroblastoma three times, shares Daily Mail.
His parents Steph, 26, and Wayne Prescott, 38, from Ince, Greater Manchester, are sharing the image Braiden requested in his final moments to raise awareness of the rare cancer’s early symptoms so no other parent goes through the heartbreak they did.
Mum Steph said: ‘I was at Braiden’s bedside during the night when I was woken up at 3am by the sound of him choking.
‘I buzzed the nurse in and they told me it was nearly time – what I could hear was his death rattle.
‘I woke Wayne up. I was supposed to be holding him but I couldn’t so they sat him on Wayne’s knee. Wayne cuddled him as I sat by his side holding his hand.’
Braiden’s sudden outburst was unusual as he had tumours on his jaw which meant he couldn’t open his mouth properly and hadn’t spoken for a few days.
Steph said: ‘He suddenly shouted out for his nanna and grandad as he knew they had been there that day.
‘He then shouted “picture now”. I was a bit shocked but I followed orders – he’d not spoken in a few days but then all of a sudden he started shouting it.’
Minutes after Steph took the heart-breaking picture of Wayne cuddling Braiden he passed away.
Steph said: ‘When he passed we were shocked, you don’t ever want to think you’re losing your baby, but we knew it was coming.
‘I was numb. I didn’t really feel anything and Wayne lost lots of weight as he wasn’t eating.’
Braiden was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at the age of two, but Steph said ‘mother’s instinct’ told her he was poorly at just six months old.
Steph added: ‘I know the pictures are hard to look at – hardly anyone sees a child that has passed away.
‘I hope it will shock people into thinking about neuroblastoma and what these children go through.
‘I just want as many people as possible to know about it. If your child has a limp, runs a really high temperature and isn’t eating get them to A&E for a blood test.’
In 2016, it was estimated that 650 children aged 0-14 years will be newly diagnosed with cancer in Australia (365 boys and 285 girls).
The number of new diagnoses is estimated to be higher in the 0–4 year age group (315 children) than in 5–9 year olds (160 children) and 10–14 year olds (175 children).
We previously shared a heartbreaking photo that touched the hearts of thousands after mum shared an image of her sons daily battle “Life isn’t pretty, and cancer destroys a person.” Read that article here.
Last year we also shared a story of dad who posted a photo of his daughter to make people aware of the darkness that is childhood cancer. Read that article here.
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