Tributes to brave leukaemia victim, 3

A HEARTBROKEN couple paid tribute last night to their beautiful son who died of a leukaemia-related illness within five months of being diagnosed with the disease.

Danielle Nuttall

A HEARTBROKEN couple paid tribute last night to their beautiful son who died of a leukaemia-related illness within five months of being diagnosed with the disease.

Three-year-old Lewis Meehan underwent weeks of gruelling hospital treatment at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, including chemotherapy and weekly bone marrow and lumber puncture tests.

But the courageous toddler rarely complained and was just happy to watch his favourite Power Ranger cartoons.

Despite being cured of the disease, Lewis died suddenly in September after developing an infection.

His bereaved parents, Tim and Sarah, of Upland Road, Ipswich, paid an emotional tribute to their own little “Power Ranger” last night, who was due to celebrate his fourth birthday on May 25, saying their lives would never be the same again.

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Mrs Meehan, who works at Sainsbury's in Warren Heath, said: “We will never forget him. We just take it a day at a time.

“We light a candle for Lewy every Friday. We want to celebrate his birthday every year.

“He absolutely loved Power Rangers. We can hear the cartoons in the morning and it can be hard to watch.

“Josh, who shared a bedroom with Lewy, still talks about him and includes him in his stories. I made an album up with pictures of Lewy for them. I made pillowcases and cushions with all his clothes so we each have something.”

Mrs Meehan took Lewis, who leaves two brothers, Joshua, six, and Dean, 13, to the doctors in May last year when a lump appeared on his cheek.

The couple were also concerned about a wound on his head, caused by a garden cactus, which had not healed.

Mrs Meehan was told her son could be anaemic and may need to undergo a blood transfusion that day at the town's hospital. But just hours later the couple were told their son had leukaemia.

“We went to Addenbrooke's the following day where we lived for seven weeks,” said Mrs Meehan.

“It was a shock for the whole family. You just don't think it can happen to you. We just thought perhaps he would need some vitamins.

“He had chemo soon after being diagnosed and lumber punctures and bone marrow tests every week to see if the leukaemia was being killed off.

“Lewy didn't really understand. When he was in Addenbrooke's he was really ill and in isolation. Every time a doctor came in he knew. If they had a blue tray with them that was it, he knew something was going to be stuck in him. It broke your heart.”

Lewis responded well to treatment and his consultant said the leukaemia itself had gone although the chemo continued to make sure it did not come back.

“The day before he died he had been as right as rain. He was fine. But they say once they have a blood infection that's it. It was so quick,” said Mrs Meehan.

“Because he had leukaemia he was having chemo, because he was having chemo his blood count was down, because his blood count was down he was prone to infection.

“The day he died my mum was going to have him so me and Tim could have a day to ourselves - which would have been the first since he was diagnosed. But we decided he didn't look right and we thought we would take him up to hospital

“We got there at 10.15am and by lunch-time he had died.”

The couple said their son's death had come as a huge shock because he appeared to be getting better.

“Because of what we'd been through since May and told that he was getting better it was so hard to deal with and it still is,” said Mrs Meehan.

“While he was in Addenbrooke's he had lost all mobility. He was learning to walk again with a trolley in Ipswich Hospital. We took the trolley back because he was walking again on his own. The following day he passed away.

“This year is going to be hard. We have just had Christmas and now we're going to have his birthday and then the anniversary of his death.”

Mr Meehan added: “New Year was hard because it felt like leaving him behind.”

Mrs Meehan's work colleagues are in the process of organising a ladies day in aid of the Paediatric Assessment Unit Amenity Fund at Ipswich Hospital.

Staff in the unit helped with Lewis' care and his family say they fought to save his life.

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