Tribute to brave cerebral palsy sufferer

GLOWING tributes have been paid to a courageous lifelong cerebral palsy sufferer who has died aged 14.Brave Nicky Smith, of Bures Road, Great Cornard, died on Monday at the West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, after a short bout of illness.

GLOWING tributes have been paid to a courageous lifelong cerebral palsy sufferer who has died aged 14.

Brave Nicky Smith, of Bures Road, Great Cornard, died on Monday at the West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, after a short bout of illness.

His heartbroken parents David and Sue Smith have now paid tribute to their son, who they say coped "bravely" with his condition.

His mother said: "He always tried to remain happy and enjoy life in his own way. His smile was quite famous and would light up any room. Nicky was loved by everyone that knew him."

Nicky was born with the condition, which left him wheelchair bound throughout his life. He had to undergo daily bouts of physiotherapy and needed regularly hospital treatment for chest and bowel problems.

From the age of eight, Nicky had to be fed by tube after a vital operation left him unable to eat or drink. Although he could not speak Nicky would communicate through his smiles and expressions.

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Mr Smith said: "Nicky coped in his own way, he was very brave. He had the best quality of life we could give him and he always tried to be happy. He was even starting to develop an eye for the ladies. His death is a massive loss."

Mrs Smith added: "Sometimes life was very uncomfortable for Nicky, but in his own little world he had a fantastic quality of life because he was loved by so many people. We will miss him terribly, our lives revolved around him and now there is a big void."

The teenager was born in Colchester and but moved to Great Cornard with his family when he was seven.

From the age of three he attended Sudbury's Hillside Special School, where staff have been saddened by his death.

The school's senior teacher Lucie Kalow said: "Over the years we have watched Nicky grow from a lovely little boy to a young man with a keen sense of fun and a heart-melting smile.

"Although his disability was severe he never stopped fighting. Those who knew him best saw in him a joy for life and a richness of love and affection. He will be greatly missed."

Nicky leaves brother Andrew, 10, and sister Shannon, five, and step-brother and sisters Justine, Daniel and Melissa.

The teenager's funeral will take place today at 2.30pm at St Andrew's Church, Great Cornard.

His family have requested donations be made to the Ipswich Children's Hospice, care of the Co-operative Funeral Service, Cornard Road, Sudbury, CO10 6XA.

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