Tributes have been paid to an East Sussex College student who died from a bleed on the brain, his parents have confirmed.
Alfie Weedon died at the Royal Brompton Hospital, in London, on December 2, at the age of 16.
The teenager, who was born with congenital heart disease – meaning his heart valves had not properly developed – had remained at hospital following an operation on his heart on November 11.
His mother Helen Barber said Alfie underwent numerous operations throughout his life, including open heart surgery and had been fitted with 12 pace makers.
Paying tribute to her son, Helen said: “Back in March 2003 we had our 22-week scan, found out we were having another boy, we were so happy. This didn’t last for long as we were told Alfie had complex heart needs. Myself and his father decided we would give him the chance in life and this is what we did.
“Alfie proved – over his 16 years – everybody so wrong. He lived his life to the full, always smiling and not letting anything get him down.
“He loved playing Fortnite on the Xbox and made many friends. Football was his passion and he gave it his all.”
Helen described Alfie as her ‘tube buddy’ because of his ability to calm her down on escalators and show her round London on the tubes.
She added: “Alfie never complained, even with his multiple operations. He took his hospital visits in his stride as if nothing was wrong, my tube buddy.
“Alfie made an impact on many people’s lives. I didn’t realise until now how many.
“Myself and his brother have said it’s way too quiet at home – no shouting.
“We love you boy and miss you with all our hearts.”
Alfie lived with his mum and brother, in Northiam, and had just started studying at East Sussex College’s Ore Valley site.
Before that, the Maidstone United and Millwall football fan attended Northiam Church of England Primary School and Robertsbridge Community College.
His dad added: “Was July 1, 2003, Alfie was born with heart problems. After his first heart surgery, we didn’t know whether he was going to survive but he did. He had multiple operations but had grown up liking football. He loved Maidstone United and trained for the disability team. Yes he was smaller than the other players but he gave back what he got. He was also a Millwall supporter even though he lived down in Sussex with his mum and brother.
“He had survived his last heard operation but sadly died of a bleed on the brain.
“He was always treated like a normal young boy if he could manage. He had a big personality and touched everyone’s hearts that he met.
“Yes he was a sod at times but he was a happy sod and cheeky.”
Alfie’s funeral will be held at Hastings Crematorium on January 6, at 2.45pm.
Since his death, his family has been raising money for the Brompton Fountain – the children’s units at Royal Brompton Hospital – because of the care they offered Alfie. You can donate here.