Family's tribute to

By Jonathan BarnesTHE distraught parents of a teenager who died three weeks after being diagnosed with a brain tumour have paid tribute to their “beautiful” son.

By Jonathan Barnes

THE distraught parents of a teenager who died three weeks after being diagnosed with a brain tumour have paid tribute to their “beautiful” son.

James Gregory, 16, a pupil at Farlingaye High School, Woodbridge, died last Wednesday after suffering complications from an operation to treat the condition.

His parents Malcolm and Janet, from Rendlesham, said James had suffered severe headaches and had been diagnosed with the tumour at the end of last month.

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The teenager was admitted to Ipswich Hospital and transferred to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, before undergoing surgery on February 4.

The operation appeared to have gone well, but due to complications James never fully recovered and, after being transferred to the neurological critical care unit, he died during the half-term break.

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Mr Gregory, speaking on behalf of the family, said: “Nothing could prepare us for the tragic loss of our son.

“Friends and family came from all over the country to visit James and we have been overwhelmed by the messages and support we have received.

“James touched the hearts of so many people and we are so proud to have had such a beautiful and well-loved son. 'What a legend', as he would say.”

Mr Gregory said his eldest son had “lived for skateboarding” and had been happiest when at Ipswich skate park, near Stoke Bridge, with his friends. He was also planning skateboarding trips to Barcelona and Prague.

James also loved his music, from hip-hop to heavy rock, and hoped to go into the sixth form at Farlingaye in September, his father added.

The teenager had two younger brothers, Dominic, 10, and Kristian, eight, who are pupils at Sandlings Primary School, Sutton.

His parents said James had had a wide circle of friends and “a lovely girlfriend” and added they were indebted to hospital staff who looked after him when he became ill.

Sue Hargadon, headteacher of Farlingaye High School, said: “James was one of the school's characters, not just because he was tall and striking with long black hair, but because he had a really outward-looking character and was always friendly and cheerful.

“He was a positive, open young man with a mischievous sense of fun and had the capacity to make others laugh.

She added: “James lived his life to the full. He lived for the moment, made the most of his opportunities and approached everything in a cheerful and positive way.

“He will be greatly missed and our school community is a sadder place without him.”

Ms Hargadon said each year group had been spoken to about James's death and support was being offered to them.

She added his friends would be making a book of their thoughts and feelings about James to give to his parents and the school would also be looking at ways to celebrate his life.

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