Inspirational 3-year-old Oliver loses battle with devastating illness

Oliver Osborn with his dad, Rik, and his two brothers, Charlie, five, and nine-month-old Elliot.
Oliver Osborn with his dad, Rik, and his two brothers, Charlie, five, and nine-month-old Elliot.
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The family of an ‘inspirational’ youngster have told of their heartache following his death.

Three-year-old Peterlee boy, Oliver Osborn, was severely disabled and suffered from an aggressive form of epilepsy, causing up to 100 seizures a day.

Oliver Osborn at the wedding of his parents, Rik and Danielle, with his brothers, Charlie, five, and nine-month-old, Elliot.

Oliver Osborn at the wedding of his parents, Rik and Danielle, with his brothers, Charlie, five, and nine-month-old, Elliot.

Devoted parents, Rik and Danielle Osborn of Wadham Close, said he became really ill and was rushed to the RVI, but his condition deteriorated and he died four days later.

Rik, 32, who was full-time carer to Oliver, said: “It all became a bit too much for him. He has done so well to make it as far as he did.

“He wasn’t hard to look after, he was our son and you just get on and deal with things. We just involved him in everyday family life. It is so hard now and we will miss him every day.”

The couple, who are also parents to Charlie, five, and nine-month-old Elliot, tied the knot in July and will cherish the memories of having Oliver at their wedding.

We will miss him every day.

Rik Osborne

Rik said: “He had been in hopsital really poorly about a month before the wedding. By the time the wedding came it was such a huge relief that he could be there with us.

“Charlie has been asking questions and we have explained to him that Ollie is now pain free and can run around and play like he couldn’t do when he was here.”

Oliver’s condition meant he had to be sedated for much of the time and he was unable to walk, talk, eat or communicate and was very much like a newborn.

When he was a baby Oliver’s family and friends started fund-raising for Epilepsy Action in a bid to find a medication which might slow down the progression of his illness.

Oliver Osborn.

Oliver Osborn.

Over three years they have raised more than £40,000 for a range of charities and Rik hopes this will continue in a bid to help other children in the future.

He said: “Olly brought so much to our lives, he inspired so many people to go out there and raise money for charity, making us better people.

“We are so proud of the way he fought every day.

“We wanted to find the medication which could help him, but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be.”

Rik Osborn with Oliver at ten-months-old.

Rik Osborn with Oliver at ten-months-old.

Oliver’s seizures were first spotted by a medic who discharged him from hospital as a baby, but it was put down to normal infantile spasms.

However, the seizures got progressively worse, from five a day to 10, then around 30 and he spent five weeks in Sunderland Royal hospital and six months in Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Over the past three years Oliver has spent much of his life in and out of hospital and his parents were touched that many of the medical staff attended the youngster’s funeral.