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Hundreds say farewell to Joel Malyon
HUNDREDS of friends, relatives and transplant games teammates have said goodbye to seven-year-old York youngster Joel Malyon.
Moving tributes were paid at a packed “farewell service” yesterday at York Crematorium for Joel, who underwent a kidney transplant from his mother when he was three but lost a long battle for life last week.
Consultant nephrologist Dr Eric Finlay said Joel was the first patient he ever saw as a consultant in Leeds.
“Joel was a wonderful character, a brave boy and a generous soul,” he said.
“He touched the hearts of all who looked after him and he enriched our lives in doing so.”
Joel, who suffered kidney disease since before he was born, became a star at the British Transplant Games in recent years and dozens of members of the Leeds Children’s Transplant Team attended the service.
One team member and close friend, Akash Suryavansi, 15, from Leeds, fought back tears as he read out a poem called The Gift, written by Joel’s mother, about donating him a kidney. Songs sung by pupils at his school, Scarcroft Primary, were also played during the service.
Joel’s uncle, Tony Conroy, said his nephew had made a lasting impression on everyone he met “either for his cheeky grin, his adorable chuckle or his compassion for other human beings”.
He said that one card among many received by Joel’s mum had come from the mother of a child who had just started at Joel’s school and felt lonely on his first day.
“Joel noticed he was upset and went over and put his arm around him and played with him for the remainder of the day, showing enormous compassion in such a young boy,” he said.
“This thoughfulness continued throughout Joel’s life.”
Mr Conroy thanked the “brilliant” medical teams who looked after Joel and also paid tribute to Polly.
He said: “She was his absolute rock, fearless in her protection, totally devoted to Joel’s needs and who never left his side.”
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