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Joel Malyon, 7, loses fight for life
A LITTLE York boy who inspired people with his cheerful courage after undergoing a kidney transplant from his mother has died, aged seven.
Joel Malyon was nominated only two months ago for a York Community Pride Child of the Year Award by his mother, Polly, who told of his character, bravery and spirit in coping with a series of post-transplant medical complications.
Polly revealed yesterday that Joel eventually lost his battle for life on Sunday after staff at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) had done everything they could to save him.
She paid tribute to her son, who hit the headlines in 2011 when – having become a star at the British Transplant Games – he asked friends not to give him any presents at his sixth birthday party but instead give donations to the Leeds Children’s Transplant Team.
Polly, from Dringhouses, who gave Joel one of her kidneys when he was three after he had suffered kidney disease since before he was born, said: “He just had so much character and spirit and humour.
“He was an inspiration to everyone. He was so brave, and never got down – he was just amazing.”
A friend, Julia Holding, who worked as a renal nurse to Joel when he was a toddler, and whose own child Ruby has undergone major treatment after being diagnosed with two brain tumours and is also a Child of the Year finalist, said she was shocked and saddened by the news of Joel’s death.
She told Polly: “You and Joel have been an inspiration to so many people, including me.
“He has touched their lives with that gorgeous smile and sense of humour.”
Polly said Joel would continue fundraising even after his death when a collection was taken at his “farewell” service, to be held at 3pm on Friday, September 20, at York Crematorium.
She said the money raised – which would be matched pound for pound by Riccall Carers, owned by Joel’s aunt and uncle – would be divided between the Leeds Children’s Transplant Team and the paediatric renal ward at LGI.
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