Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I'm Privileged to Have Had Him as My Son, He Meant the World to Us All

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I'm Privileged to Have Had Him as My Son, He Meant the World to Us All

Article excerpt

Byline: Craig Thompson Chief Reporter

A LAD whose bravery captured the region's hearts has died at home surrounded by his family.

Just days ago Oliver Bilcliffe was celebrating his 14th birthday, spending a happy day with those he loved most.

But today his dazed loved ones are coming to terms with losing a son, brother and friend.

Mum Helen, 41, said: "I feel privileged to have had him as my son. "I'm so grateful we got to be with him at the end, some people never get that chance."

Oliver died at his Cullercoats home on Tuesday night.

He had fought back from an inoperable brain tumour after which he had temporarily lost the use of the left side of his body.

But determined to get his life back, the Marden High pupil always had a smile on his face despite being unwell throughout his treatment.

Even while those around him worried, Oliver always had a smile and a polite word.

On February 15, the keen footballer celebrated his 14th birthday with his favourite meal of fish and chips.

"He'd had a lovely day," said Helen. "He was fine but then on the Tuesday he started to feel unwell."

The family, including dad Vince, 47, were told by doctors at Newcastle's RVI the tumour had spread. "He came home on the Thursday night," said Helen. "And I'm so grateful for that time we had with him. "Oliver and I spent so much time together and he meant the world to me; to all of us. We were blessed to have him as a son.

"For all of us to be there with Oliver was important."

Helen and Vince first noticed Oliver was unwell when he began occasionally vomiting last year.

"We had him to the GP about three times," said Helen. "But they just told us it was probably a virus."

However when Oliver suddenly lost the use of his left side, the family knew it was more serious.

Helen said: "He was in the bath and getting ready for school when he realised something was wrong.

"At first, he just thought it was funny because he couldn't wash his face but then his speech started to go. …

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