A SCARBOROUGH couple have bid an emotional farewell to their “little fighter” who battled to keep smiling for 18 months.
Leon Moon has died in hospital just six months after his first birthday due to a heart defect he had suffered with since birth.
His parents Tony Moon and Sarah Spencer, of Wye Court, Edgehill, have paid tribute to their courageous son, and vowed to raise money in his name to help other children.
They described Leon, who was baby brother to two-year-old Tyler, as “an inspiration”.
Leon’s funeral is being held today at Woodlands Crematorium.
Miss Spencer said: “Leon was always a happy, smiling, loving little boy. No matter how poorly he got, he would always bounce back.
“He was a real smiler, and always made everyone around him laugh.
“He would sit outside Leeds Hospital in his pram, and all he worried about was that he had a Wotsits crisp in each hand.”
Leon spent the majority of his life on hospital wards after being born with a heart defect that meant his organs were the wrong way round.
He had to be fed via a tube, and defied doctors’ early expectations.
Miss Spencer said: “The doctors said in March that he shouldn’t be here due to his condition. In fact they said there was a chance he wouldn’t survive my pregnancy.
“However he fought 18 months of his life to be with us.
“I would say throughout that entire time he only spent four or five months at home.
“The first year of his life he was in hospital. When he turned one, he had a few months at home but got poorly again. The hospital staff were great. There were loving and caring and did what they could for him.
“Everyone did their best. He was their little miracle baby surviving as long as he did. Nurse Whin at Scarborough Hospital was particularly really good with him.”
During today’s funeral service a collection is being held for the British Heart Service.
Miss Spencer said: “We are doing a collection at the funeral, and once that is done we want to start thinking about fundraising.
“We want to raise money for the heart ward at Leeds Hospital and the British Heart Foundation.
“Through Leon we would like to help other babies to get the help and equipment they need so parents don’t have to go though what we have gone through with a young baby.”