Tributes to Aaron Hall, 'a rock right to the very end'
TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Child of Courage who has lost his lifelong battle with illness.
Aaron Hall, aged 20, died from cystic fibrosis this week surrounded by friends and family at hospital.
Aaron's bravery and willingness to help others with his disease earned him the Child of Courage title at the 2008 Sentinel Our Heroes awards, when he was 16 years old.
Family members said Aaron remained up beat and hopeful right until the end, despite always knowing that his life would be limited.
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Aaron, of Witchford Crescent, Blurton, spent much of his time at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, especially as his condition deteriorated.
But his parents Sarah and Chris say he never showed any frustration at his fate.
Sarah, aged 40, said: "He never complained about his illness at all. He was a rock for everybody else, always there to support them right to the end.
"When people were upset, he would lift them up, even though he knew he wouldn't be here by Christmas. He never wanted to let anybody down.
"He said that he'd become part of the furniture at the hospital, but that even furniture has to be changed sometimes.
"He used to like scaring the nurses by pretending to be asleep, and then when they went to check his temperature he'd jump up at them. He was always a happy-go-lucky character.
"The end had been coming for the last 12 months.
"On Tuesday everyone was preparing themselves for it, but Aaron woke up bright as a button and it was as if there was nothing to worry about.
"But then later he was just lying back, listening to us chatting, and he went very peacefully in my arms."
Aaron had a wide circle of friends and was a role model and inspiration to other young people suffering from cystic fibrosis.
He was well-respected by staff at the hospital, and would often speak up on behalf of fellow patients.
Chris, aged 40, added: "The reaction from Aaron's friends has been incredible. They've set up a Facebook page for him, and I think they're planning to release Chinese lanterns in his memory.
"I'm having to recharge my phone two or three times a day because of all the messages of support I'm getting.
"We've had time to prepare Aaron's siblings, Keiran, aged 16, 11-year-old Bethan and seven-year-old Phoebe, for this day.
"The other day, when family were coming to pay their respects, Phoebe told them her brother was at peace now."
Aaron was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder which affects the lungs, when he was just four days old.
He was not expected to live beyond the age of 18.
The former Stoke-on-Trent College student worked as a showroom assistant at Knights BMW at weekends – a job he loved.
Sarah added: "Aaron loved cars. He was able to get his driving licence early because of his conditions, and he was allowed to test drive all the new cars."
Nearly 800 people have joined Aaron's memorial Facebook page.