Adam loses brave battle

Adam Lear-Jones.
Adam Lear-Jones.

A BRAVE Angus youngster has lost his seven year battle against leukaemia.

Twelve-year-old Adam Lear-Jones of Eassie, and formerly of Letham and Aberlemno, died peacefully last Tuesday at Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children, surrounded by his family

The brave youngster (pictured) was coming to the end of a block of intensive chemotherapy whilst waiting for a bone marrow transplant, but an immune system ravaged by the condition was unable to fight off a cold and he succumbed to the leukaemia which, sadly, he appeared to have beaten until last year.

Adam’s devastated parents, Mark and Louise, paid tribute to their courageous son, who they said had made a huge impact of the lives of many.

They said Adam’s determination not to allow the disease to get in the way of enjoying life and his many friendships had been an inspiration.

Adam was born in Forfar’s Whitehills Hospital and was only five when he was diagnosed with leukaemia, just as he was about to move from nursery into primary school at Letham, where the family then lived.

The discovery of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia was a devastating blow for the couple, who found their son being rushed under police escort to Edinburgh after the signs of the disease were picked up at Ninewells in Dundee.

Adam underwent intensive chemotherapy for more than three years before the family received the news that there was no trace of leukaemia in the bone marrow.

He carried on with regular clinical appointments but, sadly, just before his 10th birthday, Dundee and Edinburgh experts discovered fresh signs of the disease, this time within his central nervous system.

“The last treatment was two six-week blocks of intensive chemotherapy before he could receive a bone marrow transplant,” said Louise.

“They had found a donor, but Adam was too poorly to move to Glasgow to begin the transplant process. He was in Edinburgh coming to the end of this last block of treatment and he caught a cold which he could not fight.

“He never said, ‘Why me?’, there was no self pity, he just accepted that, some times, those are the breaks and he didn’t want it to get in the way of him doing what he could.

“He loved his friends. Adam moved schools from Letham to Aberlemno and then Eassie and he never worried about that, he just got on with things and was immediately friends with everyone.”

“He’s an example to everybody,” said Louise of her son, who is also survived by his siblings Daniel (7), Anstice (16) and Melody (24).

Mark (42) also spoke of Adam’s love of being at school with his friends - not once did he say ‘I can’t be bothered to go.”

He said: “When he wasn’t able to go to school and be with them in person he would meet up with them on line.”

Adam was really looking forward to moving to Webster’s High in Kirriemuir after the summer break.

Mark continued: “He was really looking forward to going to Webster’s. There are only two P7s at Eassie this year and he was so apologetic to the other pupil in his class that he wouldn’t be with her for the induction days. Even when he was so ill he asked us to tell her that he was sorry she would have to go on her own.”

Fittingly, and in accordance with Adam’s own wishes, his funeral at Parkgrove Crematorium, Friockheim today (Wednesday) at 3.30 pm will be a celebration of the fun-loving youngster’s life.

“Adam said to us that it should be a big party, and that is what we will make it,” said Louise.

Mark added, “He had so much potential, but he has left an impression on everyone who knew him.”

Nobody was more impressed by Adam’s approach to the illness than the medical teams who looked after him over the past years, and his parents said they were incredibly grateful to the staff at Ninewells and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

“The staff are all brilliant in those hospitals and we can only thank them for what they did for Adam. People only had to meet Adam once to remember him and that was the case with the teams there,” said Mark.