IN the final hours of his life, brave youngster Skye Hall showed incredible strength and told people to remember to make the most of what they have.
The five-year-old from Abingdon died at home on Friday after fighting a brain tumour for a year.
Skye’s family appealed to the public through the Oxford Mail last month when they were trying to tick items off his ‘bucket list’ of things to do before he died.
After their request appeared on the front page, the family were inundated with offers of help.
Last night his mother Sally said: “I waited my whole life for the moment when Skye was born. It is both a responsibility and an honour to care for a child.
- Skye Hall with loom bands
“Every night I used to whisper to Skye: ‘Love you to the moon and back,’ and in keeping with showing his love but also wanting to get one-upmanship on anyone, he always replied: ‘Love you to infinity’.
“On the day he died he asked Jesse, his two-year-old brother, to help him complete his challenge to loom to the moon as he was ‘feeling a bit tired today’.”
Skye’s nursery teacher Buzz McKenzie from Long Furlong Primary School said: “He will live in our hearts forever.”
Prime Minister and Witney MP David Cameron, who met Skye earlier this year, said: “I was greatly saddened to hear about Skye’s death.”
Skye died at home after being treated for a brain tumour, but the treatment that helped control the cancer made Skye sicker than ever.
He was diagnosed with a brain tumour in August last year and in May this year the family were told he had radio-chemo neurotoxicity, where healthy cells in his brain and spinal cord had been damaged by the radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Mrs Hall, 36, said: “Instead of being able to move forward with our plans to say farewell to Skye, everything has been put on hold in order for the correct cause of death to be printed in black and white for all to see.
- Skye with his younger brother Jesse in a clip from the family’s video tribute
“It would be selfish and easier for us to agree to his tumour being recorded as his cause of death but this would be untrue as it was the treatment itself which was the cause.
“Skye always wanted games to be played ‘correctly’ and we owe it to him and future children not to have these statistics skewed as so often happens.”
She urged people to donate to the family’s charity Blue Skye Thinking, which aims to raise money for alternative treatments for child cancer.
Mrs Hall added: “For now, Jesse seems calm with the fact that Skye is still, but did say: ‘Mummy, I don’t want to be the big brother now, I want it to be Skye’.
“Skye and I had too little time together but following his own parting words of wisdom to his fans, we did make the most of what we had. I will miss you, my best friend.”
Mr Cameron added: “He was an extraordinary little boy who displayed extraordinary bravery and my thoughts are with his family at this devastating time.”
Ms McKenzie added: “He was an exceptional boy who took an interest in everything; he had a unique outlook, a positive attitude and was an inspiration to others.
“Everyone who taught Skye has special memories.”
The family released a video of Skye’s last message on the day he died, as well as urging people to help his younger brother Jesse.
Jesse, who is filmed speaking and playing next to his sleeping brother, said: “My brother needs my help.
“Help us Loom to the Moon.”
- With his family at Oxford United
The family set up the Loom to the Moon appeal last month to try to make the world's longest loom band — where elastic bands are twisted together to form a chain.
It has more than 12,800 likes on Facebook, and the family have already received more than 9.5km of loom bands – more than the height of Mount Everest.
People from as far as Kenya and Australia have been posting loom bands to the charity.
Oxford United have also championed Skye’s cause, with fans working to add to the chain.
On Saturday, August 23 Skye went onto the pitch at half time during the match against Portsmouth.
Peter Rhoades-Brown, the club’s business development manager, said: “It’s really sad news, but the club is happy that we have managed to give him a little bit of a lift before he passed away.
“We will continue to loom and help the appeal.”
Completed chains should be posted to Blue Skye Thinking, 59 Hendred Way, Abingdon, OX14 2AW.
- To donate text LOOM66 £2 to 70070 or visit justgiving.com/skye-hall
- For more information visit facebook.com/loomtothemoon
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
- Send your Letter to the Editor: What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter for publication here
Our top stories
- Companies still signing up for jobs fair at Oxford Town Hall
- Hundreds will gather as soldier killed in Iraq is repatriated
- Staff and students celebrate actress's big win at the Golden Globes
- Inquests opened into death of couple who died in cottage fire on Blenheim Palace estate
- Inquest opened into death of pensioner found in River Ock in Abingdon
- Man wearing beanie hat exposes himself to woman on city street