TRIBUTES have been paid to a brave boy who amazed doctors by fighting his debilitating condition for more than a decade longer than expected.
When Luke Ballantine-Gray was born with the rare genetic disorder Tri-Somi 10P Plus, his mother Sarah was told he only had a few months to live.
But the inspirational youngster from Hebden Bridge fought the condition for a staggering 15 years, finally losing his battle last month.
His family say he was known to many for his beaming smile.
“His smile and his outlook on life inspired people around him,” said Sarah.
“He had a great appetite for life.” Luke was a pupil at Wood Bank School, Luddenden Foot, and Ravenscliffe High School, Halifax.
His head teacher at Wood Bank nominated the youngster for the Percival Whiteley Award to recognise his determination.
Stepfather Ian said: “Every person who has spoken to us has said how his smile made such a difference to them.
“We want all those people to know how important they were to him.
“The care and love that he was given by them, he shone that back.
“We want to thank everyone who has helped him – the school, the health professionals and everyone who has supported the family.”
It was Luke’s “gutsiness and stubbornness” that helped him live so far beyond doctors’ expectations, said his family.
“He battled on for all that time but always with that smile and a gleam in his eye,” said Ian.
Luke leaves Sarah, Ian, father Mark Atmore and eight-year-old brother Jamie. His funeral takes place on Tuesday at Park Wood Crematorium in Elland at 1.30pm.
A collection will be made for Francis House Children’s Hospital.