DISABLED boy Joshua Wilson whose smile and cheery disposition touched the hearts of fundraisers all over the UK has died.
The death of the Elms Bank High pupil was announced on Tuesday on the Twitter account of the teenager’s mum Dawn Fidler.
It poignantly read: “My superhero is sleeping now, no more pain big man, thank you for teaching us to smile xxx #hero.”
Earlier this month, it was announced that Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy had become the latest patron of the Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity, which was set up last year to raise money for children suffering from similar conditions to Joshua.
Sir Peter first met Joshua in 2013 when he played a starring role in a light-hearted Gangnam Style dance video, with the help of officers from the Prestwich and Whitefield neighbourhood policing team and TV’s Scott and Bailey.
Yesterday, Sir Peter said: “Some people make a huge impact in a short life and change the attitudes of many others and Josh was one of those people.
“He challenged your view of mental and physical disability because of his great love for life and the way he reacted to things around him. The video I made with him was great fun and I am proud to be a patron of the charity named after him.”
People, organisations and groups all over the UK helped raise awareness of Joshua’s condition as well as money for his charity.
Just weeks ago, he visited the mayor’s parlour in Bury with family members to meet the borough’s “first citizen” Cllr Michelle Wiseman.
In January, it was announced that his brain tumour charity had smashed its first year fundraising year target in less than six months. In the six months since its launch in August 2013, the charity had generated a huge £53,680 – swamping its original £50,000 target.
Joshua, of Walshaw Road, Bury, was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of three. Lifesaving brain surgery left him in a coma for three months. The complicated surgery, due to the location of the brain stem, left him with complex physical needs, epilepsy, scoliosis, joint problems and an acquired brain injury.
Generous fundraising helped fund a series of adaptations at Joshua’s home.
At the end of last year, Joshua proved he was a battler. With his parents, Dawn and Colin, keeping a bedside vigil, he recovered from being “very poorly” in intensive care at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital following complications arising from a chest infection.