A child’s death is heartbreaking and tragic regardless of the circumstances. But one little boy’s recent death is particularly poignant because even at the end, he thought only of his loved ones.
Charles Procter, aged five, died recently after being diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a rare form of cancer, in 2016.
Charlie’s mom, Amber Schofield, posted this photo of her sweet little boy on November 9, the last one that would ever be taken of him.
“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?”
One of the most tragic parts of this story was that this little boy knew that his mother was destroyed. She shared this.
“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…charlie, at one point, turned to me and said in the most quiet, painting voice, ‘Mummy, I’m so sorry for this,’” she wrote, adding that her heart broke hearing her son apologize for wanting “to move again.”
Schofield wants Charlie to be remembered for the “charming, cheeky boy” he was, not the sick little boy he became as the illness ravaged his body. She posted this photo of herself, Charlie, and her husband, Ben Procter, along with a heartbreaking farewell message.
“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.”
Her heartbreaking post continued.
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. 💔”
Charlie’s inspiring story went viral when high-profile celebrities, including Pink and Ellen DeGeneres, donated money to try to help get him to the U.S. where he might have been saved by a liver transplant. Sadly, the goal of £855,580 wasn’t met.
He had gone into remission once before after a surgery in the U.K., but his cancer eventually returned, says CTV News.
Charlie died in his parents’ arms on November 9th, never to be forgotten by anyone who knew him or read his story.
Hepatoblastoma is a “very rare cancerous tumor that starts in the liver” and “primarily affects children from infancy to about 3 years of age,” according to Standford’s Children Hospital.