Tributes paid for boy from right across Northern Ireland
Tributes have been paid to “inspirational” 9-year-old Adam Watson after the Banbridge boy passed away on Wednesday.
Adam was the inspiration behind his family’s charity B-Positive, supporting those with acute leukaemia alongside the boy’s own battle with the condition when he was diagnosed at the age of seven in 2019.
The DUP MP Carla Lockhart knew the family well and said her heart is “aching” over the loss of Adam.
In 2020, he completed his last chemotherapy and ended his treatment, however just three months later he relapsed.
A cord blood transplant last year in Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital was also unsuccessful.
A funeral notice said Adam passed away peacefully at home surrounded by parents David and Sara.
"To lose a child must be the most difficult thing in the world to come to terms with and that journey for David and Sara has sadly begun,” Ms Lockhart said.
"There are no words that can ever be spoken that will take away the hurt and pain but we just pray that they get the strength to get through the difficult times ahead.
"When I think of Adam I will always remember him as a wee warrior; someone who fought his battle with great determination and inner strength.
"Defeating leukaemia once, he battled so hard when he was given the devastating news that it had returned. Sadly, it has just been too much to beat it again.
"I had the most humbling and memorable time with Adam recently when I introduced the Minister of State, Conor Burns, to him. Conor was so taken by Adam and his quirky humour, his knowledge of local and American politics that he visited him again just yesterday.
"Adam safe to say, has left such an impression and I know that he has and will continue to be mentioned in the corridors of power in both London and Washington as we seek to bring about real change for children and families who are fighting this dreaded disease.”
Bands across Northern Ireland also paid tribute to Adam.
Downshire Guiding Star Flute Band hailed Adam as a “star”.
“The band is devastated at the news of the death of Adam Watson today, after his long battle with cancer. Adam and his parents Davy and Sara are long time friends and big members of our band family,” they wrote.
“The family has been central to all charity work we have done over the last decade and the dedication and effort they put into helping others is remarkable.
“The fact that during their hardest battle as a family they set up B-Positive, a charity to help others in their position, is a measure of the kindness of the Watsons.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with David and Sara and the entire wider family at this time. Adam's story and the way the family faced the illness so bravely will be an inspiration to others who are in the same position.”
Football club Glenavon also posted a tribute from their academy page.
“Glenavon FC Academy are deeply saddened to hear the news that young Adam Watson passed away earlier this afternoon,” they said.
“Adam and his family are the drivers behind the B Positive charity that the Academy have been supporting and promoting over the last few months.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with David, Sara and the wider family circle at this time.”
A funeral notice confirmed a service for the young boy will take place on Friday at 12.30pm in Seapatrick Parish Church followed by committal in Banbridge New Cemetery.
“Will be lovingly remembered & sadly missed by his mummy, daddy and the entire family circle,” the notice added.