'He looked up at me, smiled and then everything stopped': Brave east Hull teen Reece Brocklesby dies in his favourite place
A TEENAGER whose family worked tirelessly to raise money for charity passed away in his favourite place.
Reece Brocklesby, 16, died in the Forget Me Not room at Sunshine House on Friday – something his family helped raise money for.
The east Hull teenager, who had a life-limiting condition, severe brain damage and epilepsy, spent many happy hours at the centre.
Reece's mum Lisa Dand, 43, and the rest of his family, helped raise money for the room, which lets families be together at the end of a child's life.
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Lisa said: "He loved Sunshine House. It was somewhere he could be with his friends and feel really safe.
"He started going when he was 13 and we only expected him to go for an hour a week, but he was there Sunday to Tuesdays most of the time.
"He absolutely loved it there, it was his favourite place."
When Reece was born, Lisa was told he would only live for a few hours.
His list of complex illnesses meant his chances of survival were slim.
Lisa, who was a full-time carer for her son, said: "We knew before he was born there was something wrong.
"He wasn't supposed to live more than a couple of hours, but we had almost 17 years with him.
"He was always a happy boy, even when he was poorly, but he liked his independence, which is what he enjoyed about Sunshine House.
"He had his little crew of friends there and loved them all.
"They were all family to us."
Lisa and the rest of Reece's family have held countless fundraising events for The Sunshine Smile Appeal, a charity campaign launched by the Smile Foundation to raise money for Sunshine House's revamp and the Forget Me Not room.
This included taking part in a children's section of the Jane Tomlinson 10K.
Lisa said: "We dressed up in silly costumes with cowboy hats and feather boas. Reece loved it."
Although she has lost her brave boy, Lisa says she still wants to raise money for Sunshine House, which is run by Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
Although the trust pays for staff and medical equipment, extras have to be covered by fundraising.
Lisa said: "I won't stop fundraising for Sunshine House.
"We wouldn't have got through this weekend, after we lost Reece, without them.
"They always go above and beyond for you.
"We want to raise money to help all Reece's friends who go there, and future children who will use it."
Reece's condition took a turn for the worst when he had a seizure on Wednesday.
He was taken by ambulance to hospital, where doctor's gave Lisa two choices.
They said they could keep Reece on ventilation, or he could have palliative care.
Lisa said: "We always said Reece couldn't make decisions for himself in life, but one choice he will make is when he has had enough.
"We got him transferred to the Forget Me Not room on Thursday and dozens of people went to visit him.
"Then I was with him in the evening and Friday morning.
"At about 2.30am on Friday it was just me and him, I think he wanted it that way.
"He'd seen everyone he wanted to see.
"He looked up at me, smiled and then everything stopped at 2.37am.
"I couldn't have asked for anything better for him."
The teenager leaves behind Lisa, his stepdad John, sister Jade, 23, brothers Callum, 21, and Regan, 14, and step-siblings Liam, 12, and Kira, nine, and niece Grace, 15 months.
Reece's funeral will be held at Eastern Cemetery on Friday at 1pm.
Anyone wishing to walk with the procession, which will include two horses, should meet at the family home at 338 Annandale Road at 12.30pm.