There’s perhaps nothing more painful in this world than watching your once lively little one deteriorate before your very eyes.
Charlie Proctor was once that beaming boy, but after he was diagnosed with a rare cancer in 2016, his health steadily declined — to the point where his mom said she could feel every bone in his body.
The 5-year-old’s story captivated the country after his mom and dad launched a GoFundMe to raise £855,580 for an operation in the United States.
While nearly £360,000 had been raised to get Charlie to the States (including a donation of £10,000 from singer Pink and a £5,000 donation from Umar Kamani, founder of Pretty Little Things), it wasn’t quite enough.
On November 9, Charlie’s Mom, Amber Schofield, posted the final picture of her baby boy alive.
“This will be the last photo I post of Charlie,” she wrote. “As the days go by he deteriorates more and more. He no longer looks like Charlie. He’s so thin, I can see and feel every bone in his tiny body, his sunken face, his rolling eyes. Where has my chunky baby gone?”
Amber continued with the heartbreaking post in which she mentioned Charlie apologizing to her saying, “Mummy, I’m so sorry for this.” The pain-stricken mother also stated she wanted her son to be remembered for the charming, cheeky boy he was, not the tired and depressed child he’s become due to his illness:
“He’s was the cuddliest baby ever! He’s our chunk. I want everyone to remember Charlie for who he is. I want them to remember how he looked, how cheeky he was, how hilarious, how grumpy he was because right now Charlie isn’t any of those.”
“He’s sad, he’s tired, he’s fed up and depressed. ‘I don’t know what to do anymore’ are his main words.. today, he’s been very agitated, wanting to lay down, sit up, lay in bed, then on the beanbag, then on the sofa, then back upstairs and so on… [C]harlie, at one point, turned to me and said in the most quiet, panting voice, ‘Mummy, I’m so sorry for this’ he was sorry because he wanted to move again and he felt he had to apologise for that? So now I know he also feels like he’s some what ‘in the way’. My heart broke! No child should feel the emotions Charlie is feeling. No Child! No parent should watch their child slowly go. Having to watch them deteriorate in this way is the most painful thing anyone will ever feel. If Charlie’s fate is to go, then I’d of rather the angels took him weeks ago before he suffered anymore. His AFP is that high now that the machine can no longer read them. His liver function are the same apart from his Bilirubin, which has doubled causing Charlie’s skin colour to be yellow. After this, with every update, I will share photos of Charlie in his better days.
How can I miss him so much when he’s led beside me? But I do. I miss him. I miss just having a chat, a cuddle that doesn’t cause pain. I miss squeezing him and kissing him all over. I miss his smile, knowing I won’t see that smile again other than in pictures, I will never hear [C]harlie laugh again 💔💔 please pray for a miracle 🙏🏻💫❤️ hold your babies tight and cuddle and kiss them so much. You don’t realise how lucky you are. We all take life for granted. 💔”
Sadly, Charlie’s 2-year battle with cancer did not end with a miracle, on this side of eternity at least.
The courageous 5-year-old from Lancashire died this weekend, wrapped snugly in the arms of his mother and father.
In her most recent post to her son’s Facebook page, Charlie’s Chapter, Amber wrote the following poignant message accompanied by a photo of Charlie with the wings of an angel:
“Last night at 23:14 my best friend, my world, Charlie, took his final breath. He fell asleep peacefully cuddled in my arms with daddy’s arms wrapped around us. Our hearts are aching. The world has lost an incredible little boy. Charlie, you gave me chance to be a mum. You have been, not only our biggest inspiration but you have been an inspiration to thousands of people all over the world. You showed me what love really means Charlie. Now it’s time to fly, I am so, so proud of you. You fought this so hard. My baby, I’m hurting so much. I will forever miss you baby bum. Sweet dreams my baby 💔”