‘A happy little boy who was loved everywhere he went’.
That is how a grieving mother has described her young son following his tragic death just a week before Christmas.
Kieron Strange, who had muscular dystrophy, passed away in his sleep on December 18, aged 11.
His funeral was held last week and his former school, Seal Primary Academy in Selsey, where he ‘loved to go’, was closed so the many pupils, parents and staff who knew and loved him could celebrate his life.
In a moving tribute his heart-broken mother, Teresa Strange, said: “He loved school, he was always happy to go and even though he couldn’t play like the rest of the pupils.
“Kieron had so many friends at Seal, not just the children but also the adults were his friends, too.
“His best friend was called Buster and they were best friends from nursery school, then went to Seal and also went to St Anthony’s School together last September.
“The two of them were inseparable and all the teachers at St Anthony’s loved him, he was loved everywhere he went.”
Despite being in a wheelchair since the day before his sixth birthday, Teresa said her son didn’t ever complain about his condition.
“The day Kieron was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in October 2008, our world fell apart,” she said.
“We tried to make his life as happy as we could, he was such a happy little boy.
“He used to fall over all the time and his younger brother, who was 14 months younger then Kieron, used to go behind him and help him up off the floor. But he never complained.
“Kieron finally gave up walking the day before his sixth birthday. We were in the Isle of Wight at the time, he got so fed up of falling over that he just gave up.”
Kieron lived at home in Selsey with his mother Teresa, her partner Jim, his brother Daniel and sister Chloe. Teresa said he was much loved by the whole family, including his three uncles, his aunt and his nanny and grandad.
“Kieron went through so much in the last year, in February last year he had a major back operation to have a spinal rod put in and he still didn’t complain,” his mum said.
“All he was worried about when he came round from the operation was me as I was crying.
“The operation did help him, he managed to sit up on his own unaided, which he couldn’t do before.
“Then in August we got told he was in heart failure and that he didn’t have long to live. That broke our hearts to know that we were going to lose him, but we stayed strong for Kieron.
“I didn’t want him to know he was going to die so we all stayed strong and at the end of August he got a terrible chest infection and spent a week in hospital.
“We thought we were going to lose him then because he was so ill, but he pulled through and he was happy to go back to school.
“Then in end November he developed another cough and could not shift it. In December he went to stay at Chestnut Tree House and he had a great weekend there.
After spending a few days in hospital, Kieron was allowed to go back home.
Teresa said: “We took him out and on the Thursday he was really well and when I put him to bed that night he went to sleep and just didn’t wake up. Our hearts were torn out.”
She said: “We can’t believe he has gone, he was such a happy boy, always trying to make everyone happy.
“He loved seeing me smile and laughing, he used to do funny things with his step-dad.
“I would go to the shops, come back and he would be dressed up with tinsel and funny glasses on or cardboard from toilet rolls on his eyes.
“He loved cuddles with his sister and loved having his little cousin sitting on his laps. He will be truly missed by so many.”
Teresa said a big thank you to the paramedics and police officers who tried to revive Kieron, as well as the staff at Lee Hobson Funeral Directors ‘for giving Kieron the best send-off ever’.
His nan Lynn said Kieron was always putting others before himself and ‘never complained even if he was in pain’.
His school, Seal Primary Academy, also paid tribute. Headteacher Matt Batchelor said: “Kieron spent all of his school life at Seal, from Reception to Year 6, and was well loved by the school community.”
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