28 days ago

Galaxy of superheroes made dying boy's wish come true after his mum appealed for characters to visit her son.

A galaxy of superheroes made a dying boy's wish come true after his mum appealed for characters to visit her son.

Eight year old Freddy Leitch had just days to live when his favourite Marvel and Disney characters knocked on his front door.

Video captures the group of superheroes dancing and performing handstands for him and giving him the 'best day of his life'.

The boy was born with rare genetic disease Chronic Granulomatous, where his white blood cells were unable to kill certain bacteria and fungi leaving him prone to infections.

As Freddy’s illness progressed his family planned to create him as many memories as possible.

He had dreamed of going to Disneyland Paris but his illness postponed several of his family’s bookings.

On Sunday April 16 Freddy became sick and mum Kirsty Leitch rushed him to hospital.

That Wednesday, following several days spent unwell, Freddy asked if he could go to the theme park and stay at the Marvel hotel.

Knowing he wouldn’t make it, Kirsty put out an online appeal for people to visit him dressed as his favourite Disney, Marvel and DC characters.

Kirsty and Freddy were shocked when Spider-Man, Stitch, The Hulk, Supergirl and Power Ranger turned up.

He told his mum it was the best day ever.

The next day Freddy’s health worsened but he wanted to go Smyths toy store. Nurses from children’s hospice Demelza took him there to buy his last set of toys, some of which remain unopened.

The next day Freddy passed away at home surrounded by his loved ones, leaving behind sister Ivy-Rose, his step-dad, uncles, aunties and nanny and grandad.

Mum Kirsty said: “To all the people that came, we were so grateful. I never expected the appeal to go so mad. The people who turned up were fantastic.

“They gave him the most joyous 20 minutes, half an hour of his life. Afterwards, he said to me, ‘mum, that was the best day ever’.

“Demelza kept him at home towards the end of his life. Without them he wouldn’t have the passing that he wanted,” Kirsty explained.

“He would have passed in hospital and that was his worst fear. His last breath was peaceful and we couldn’t have asked for better people to be here with us.

“We're heartbroken, we're devastated that he's grown his wings, but grateful that he's gone in peace.

“He’s going to leave a massive Freddy-shaped hole in all our hearts. He's left us with so many memories, that's what he's given us.”

During the first few years of his life, Freddy coped well with the disease. But in 2018 a bone marrow transplant to boost immunity failed, leaving his body struggling to fight viruses.

His kidneys deteriorated in 2021 - the family did not know why until doctors found a virus they had missed.

The BK virus had, by that time, spread from his bladder to his kidneys. In January 2022, the family were told the infection had gone too far and he was hospitalised with a life-threatening 24-48 hours.

He pulled through. But Freddy got an infection at Christmas and spent the holiday in hospital.

A Disneyland trip was booked for January but he was too sick to make it.

“Being the superhero he was, he pulled through, so we made memories from March to October.

“We asked him, ‘if you could do any three things in the world, what would you do?’

“Before his bone marrow transplant we had taken a family trip to Turkey, and he said he wanted to go back, so we did that in October.”

Mum Kirsty, 33, added: “We all remember his sass and his love for life. He never complained or moaned.

“We got him a dog, Phoenix, named after the X-Men character. He adores her, she’s his best friend.

“He also had a puppy, Shuri, named after the Black Panther character.

“He was superhero mad, and football mad. He loved Chatham Town FC. He was going to every home game.

“On the Saturday, the day before he took a turn for the worse, he went to their game, and they won.

“He had such determination. It’s something I’ve never seen before in my life."

The team’s captain and two other players visited Freddy before he died to give him a Man of the Match trophy and a signed t-shirt.

Now the football club and Freddy’s family are holding a fundraiser to celebrate his life, with proceeds going towards Demelza and the CGD Society, supporting people affected by Chronic Granulomatous Disorder.

Chatham FC players will have a match against family and friends dressed as Freddy’s favourite superheroes.

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