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Community gathers to celebrate life of special seven-year-old

Joel Shaw is commemorated at Newburgh fair

Joel Shaw

A grieving family have thanked the Newburgh community for their support following the death of their seven-year-old son.

Joel Shaw passed away peacefully on June 1, after suffering from health problems including liver damage and pneumonia since February.

During this weekend's Newburgh Fair, Joel’s life was celebrated with a balloon release and a float in the parade dedicated to his memory.

Joel was the much loved son of Andrew and Susan Shaw, was younger brother to Kirsty, Emma, Kim, Aimee, Lee and Jessica, and was the grandson of Sylvia.

He was in Year 2 at Newburgh CoE primary school, where he touched the lives of staff, students and parents.

Joel’s mum Sue Shaw, 42, said: “Joel was perfectly happy and healthy before February of this year and his health problems came completely out of the blue.

“We went to Ormskirk Hospital and then we were sent to Leeds where we were told his liver had failed, but after weeks of treatment he seemed to improve.

“We came home but then Joel started to became breathless and we were told he had pneumonia. He was in Alder Hey for just under a month before he passed away.

“As a family we are still in complete shock that our little boy who was so full of love and life has gone.

“Joel touched the lives of everyone who came into contact with him. He was a very loving child and would always try and help where he could. If his friends were fighting in the playground he was always the one who would get them to make friends.

“His favourite phrase was ‘can I just tell you that I love you’. Even when he was in Alder Hey with tubes coming out from his mouth he still tried to tell me he loved me, he was such a special boy.”

Joel’s death has hugely affected the village community and proceeds of this year’s fair will be split between Alder Hey, Leeds ward 10 and Ronald McDonald which put Joel’s parents up during his treatment.

Sue, a student nurse at Southport Hospital, said: “Joel loved the fair and he would have wanted us to attend, so all our family and friends will be there.

“I cannot thank the local community enough  for everything they have done for us, I have never lived anywhere where the community spirit is so strong.

“It was better to have seven years with Joel than none at all, we’re extremely sad but I am so proud of my beautiful son, he will never be replaced.”

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