The mother of a terminally ill eight-year-old who died on Tuesday has said she has “no regrets” about taking him to Mexico for treatment.
Jennifer Ure Stewart told the Scotsman that the nine trips to the Monterrey Vale Clinic where her son Luke received 14 sets of treatment for an aggressive brain tumour known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Giloma (DIPG), had prolonged the youngster’s life by around a year.
Mrs Ure Stewart from Tranent, plans to continue her campaign for funding to be made available to research a cure for DIPG and said it’s her dream to build a hospice in East Lothian to honour her son’s legacy and help other terminally ill children.
Mrs Ure Stewart and husband Mark, who have two other boys, Lewis, aged six and two-year-old Lochlin, set up the JustGiving page Help Luke which raised an incredible £187,000, money which was used to give their son groundbreaking treatment in Mexico to prolong his life.
Luke was diagnosed in January 2017 and passed away at the Rachel House Hospice in Kinross at 5:25am on Tuesday.
He was only given between six and nine months to live by doctors in Scotland and told that the NHS could only provide him with radiotherapy to allow him a semblance of quality of life.
However, the brave youngster defied the odds before succumbing to the effects of pneumonia.
Jennifer said she would do the same thing “ten times over” in making the decision to take Luke to Mexico.
She added: “I have no regrets if we hadn’t done that we would have lost Luke over a year ago.
“We got probably over a year more with Luke and it was quality time.
“He wasn’t in and out of hospital, he wasn’t lying in a bed he wasn’t sick. He had a quality life and he enjoyed so much of that. I think as a family we packed more into 19 months than we might have done in a whole lifetime because of the time we spent together.
“He loved going to Mexico, he loved the people over there, he loved travelling and he really enjoyed it.”
A minute’s applause was held for Luke in the eighth minute of Hibs match against NSI Runavik on Thursday night.
The family now plan a celebration of his life with a service at Liberton Kirk on Wednesday followed by his funeral at Mortonhall Crematorium.
There are also plans for a party to honour Luke on Sunday July 22 at the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club.