Five-year-old Charlie Proctor from Accrington, Lancashire, was diagnosed with a rare cancerous tumor in 2016 that required him to undergo a liver transplant. His parents, Amber Schofield and Ben Proctor, immediately started a campaign to raise money to take their little boy to the U.S. to receive treatment for the hepatoblastoma.
But in October, they shared on their Facebook page Charlie’s Chapter that doctors had finally given them the news they had been dreading: Charlie had just weeks left to live. At the time this news came, Schofield and Proctor were already planning for his last Christmas this year and his last birthday in April, but the rug was ripped out from under them when doctors told them he would likely have six weeks to live at most.
The family was devastated and started planning an early celebration of his birthday with all his family and friends, and threw themselves behind their fundraising efforts to see if there was anything that could even vaguely lengthen the time they had left with him.
Sadly, on November 9, Charlie breathed his last, lying curled up in his mother’s arms, with his father hugging them both as he died. A day later, on November 10, the family shared the news on the Facebook page that Charlie was gone. The haunting image shows Schofield and Proctor in a field with Charlie, who has been given a delicate pair of wings to indicate he is now with the angels.
Schofield shared her unbearable grief in the caption of the image.
“You have been, not only our biggest inspiration but you have been an inspiration to thousands of people all over the world. You showed me what love really means Charlie. Now it’s time to fly, I am so, so proud of you. You fought this so hard. My baby, I’m hurting so much. I will forever miss you baby bum. Sweet dreams my baby.”
Just the day before, Schofield had shared that Charlie was feeling utterly restless and kept wanting to move from one room of the house to the other. At one point, in between the moving around, he looked up at Schofield and uttered heartbreaking words to his mother, “Mommy, I’m so sorry for this.”
According to Schofield, he was trying to apologize for the fact that he kept feeling the need to move and be repositioned in an attempt to get comfortable.
“So now I know he also feels like he’s some what ‘in the way.’ My heart broke! No child should feel the emotions Charlie is feeling,” she wrote on Facebook.
Charlie’s death has devastated his family, with Schofield noting how her son will never see his baby sister growing up, or turn 6, which was what he considered a “big boy age.”