|Heart-broken Cameron: "Nothing will feel the same again." Posted by Ian at 7 45 PM on Saturday, February 28|
GRIEF-STRICKEN David Cameron opened his heart for the first time yesterday about his family’s agony at the death of his treasured son Ivan.
In a touching tribute, the Tory leader candidly admitted: “He leaves a hole in our life so big that words can’t describe it. Nothing will feel the same again.”
Little Ivan, six, died on Wednesday after losing his battle against cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
Mr Cameron, 42, was so moved by the letters of support and flowers he and wife Samantha have received that he sent an email to 80,000 party activists, members and staff last night.
It is the first time he has told of the anguish faced by the couple and their two other children Nancy, five, and three-year-old Arthur (who they call by his second name Elwen) after Ivan’s death.
He also paid tribute to the son he described as “their special, beautiful boy”.
Mr Cameron’s poignant message read:
We always knew Ivan wouldn’t live forever, but we didn’t expect to lose him so young and so suddenly.
He leaves a hole in our life so big that words can’t describe it. Bed time, bath time, meal time—nothing will feel the same again.
Sam and I have been overwhelmed by all the letters, cards, emails and flowers we have received about Ivan.
Sending an email this week just gives us both a chance to say a big ‘thank you’. It means a lot to know that others are thinking of us and him.
We console ourselves knowing that he won’t suffer anymore, that his end was quick, and that he is in a better place. But we all just miss him so desperately.
When we were first told the extent of Ivan’s disability I thought that we would suffer having to care for him but at least he would benefit from our care.
Now, as I look back, I see that it was all the other way round.
It was only him that ever really suffered and it was us—Sam, me, Nancy and Elwen—who gained more than I ever believed possible from having and loving such a wonderfully special and beautiful boy.
The couple were at Ivan’s bedside at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, West London, when he lost his fight for life in the early hours of Wednesday.
He had suffered a seizure, brought on by stomach problems.
Doctors battled to save him but he died of acute abdominal failure just 45 minutes later.
The tragic news brought Parliament to a standstill. Prime Minister’s Questions were suspended as MPs paid tribute to the little lad.
Gordon Brown—who lost his own daughter Jennifer Jane in 2002 when she was just ten days old—was close to tears as he paid his own emotional tribute.
He said that in Ivan’s all-too-brief life he had brought “joy to all around him”.
The Queen also sent a message of condolence.
Ivan was born with cerebral palsy and a rare form of epilepsy, called Ohtahara Syndrome, which meant he needed round-the-clock care.
Mr Cameron previously described the time after the condition was diagnosed—when Ivan was just six days old—as “grim and difficult”.
But he said he and his wife fell in love with their special little boy as they drove home from hospital.
Ivan’s condition meant the Camerons were well known to the doctors and nurses at the hospital because of the treatment he needed.
Mr Cameron has often said the experience gave him a better understanding of the NHS.
Ivan’s private funeral will take place on Tuesday in Mr Cameron’s West Oxfordshire constituency.