A grieving mother has paid tribute to her “always laughing” 6-year-old boy, who passed away last weekend after a lifelong battle with an ultra-rare condition which left him blind and unable to move.
Little Archie suffered from Deletion 14 Q12, a syndrome caused by a missing chromosome which stunts growth, restricts mobility and vision and reduces life expectancy.
He passed away on January 9, after spending his six short years cheering up his family in Nunhead and surprising doctors, despite constant discomfort in his final days.
His mother, Aine Green, told the News: “He was always smiling and laughing, even at the end. He developed epilepsy, but even after having a fit he would smile to show us that he was okay. He was more concerned with how we were feeling.
“Even the day before he died, he heard something funny and started laughing in his sleep.”
Archie was a complete “mummy’s boy” who “loved his cuddles”, and also adored spending time with his dad when he came to visit.
Aine said: “His dad would blow a raspberry and he would laugh so much. His dad loved him and Archie would be so excited to hear his voice saying ‘Archie boy!’ Sometimes he wouldn’t even need to hear him, he would know from the sound of his feet.”
The family shared some fantastic memories together, including a recent visit to the beach in Southend – “he loved it down there in the sand” – and Archie’s first day at Cherry Gardens School in Bermondsey.
Aine said: “We didn’t think we would get to that milestone, his first day of school. He surprised everyone, and he loved school, they all loved him there. They were just fantastic with him there. When he got on the bus he would be laughing and would cheer everyone up, they loved picking him up and dropping him home again.”
Archie was also a great little brother, causing no trouble for his elder siblings Annie, 11, Niamh, 16, and Alex, 21.
Aine said: “He loved them and they loved him so much, he was a good little brother. Niamh was very good, she used to mother him a lot, and Annie would always read him books in bed. He loved listening to stories.”
What struck everyone about Archie, even more than his sense of humour and contagious laugh, was his strength in the face of all the problems he faced in his tragically short life.
Aine said: “He was fighting to the end, he didn’t give up. He was not a crier, there is not one picture we have of him where he isn’t looking happy. He was such a strong boy, it didn’t matter what life threw at him or how much his little body suffered, he just kept fighting.”
Aine requested that any donations in Archie’s memory should be made to the Demelza Children’s Hospice. Visit demelza.org.uk or ring 01795845200 for more information.