LITTLE Lewis Morris was surrounded by his family when he closed his eyes, ending his three-year battle with leukaemia.
Even in his final days, the four-year-old’s cheeky grin shone through despite the pain he was suffering.
But in the early hours of last Wednesday morning, with mum Vicky Morrison at his bedside, Lewis slipped away.
Today, as Vicky, 35, prepares for her son’s funeral, she said: “He was one in a million and a real inspiration. He had fought until the end but it was his time to go.
“The suffering needed to end because he was in a lot of pain in those last few days.”
Lewis was diagnosed with the disease at 17 months old, after Vicky, of Southwick, noticed bruising on his legs and a rash.
He underwent months of gruelling chemotherapy, which saw him react badly to the treatment and become temporarily paralysed for 12 weeks, but in May last year Lewis suffered a relapse.
The youngster, who has two brothers Josh, 10, and Callum, eight, had to have a painful lumbar puncture to extract fluid from his spine before undergoing more aggressive chemotherapy.
In October he underwent radiotherapy and a life-saving bone marrow transplant.
Lewis was forced to spend 10-weeks in isolation after developing shingles and a host of other problems, spending Christmas at Newcastle’s RVI, before being allowed to come home earlier this year.
Despite his determination, the youngster fell ill and blood tests revealed his kidneys were failing.
He was rushed to hospital where medics fought to keep him alive in the Intensive Care Unit.
But on Wednesday at 2.05am, he sadly died.
“Lewis never once complained about anything or cried and took everything in his stride,” Vicky said.
“Despite everything he went through, he was always so happy and was always smiling. He’s an absolute inspiration.
“We knew he was going to die but we thought we’d have a few more months with him.”
During his short life, Lewis touched the hearts of everyone he met, charming hospital staff and patients with his cheeky grin.
“Everyone loved him,” Vicky said. “He even had a ‘girlfriend’ at the RVI, a 17-year-old called Chelsea who he became good friends with.
“One of his dying wishes was to see her to say goodbye and he got to do that. They had a very close bond.
“The staff also became like his family because he spent so much time in there. Everyone is really sad to see him go.”
Lewis’s funeral takes place on Wednesday at St Hilda’s Church, Beaumont Street, Southwick, at 2pm. This will be followed by a private ceremony at the cemetery.
The family is asking for family flowers only. Any donations can be made to the RVI’s Ward 4 where Lewis was cared for.