Farewell to brave teen Vincent


is bedroom is decorated with flags of his favourite rugby team, the Cheetahs, and jars of marbles and tops line the shelves. Towards the back of one shelf, half hidden, stands a Batman action figure.

It’s the room of a boy who always wanted to be an ordinary child but the deadly disease he battled for four years continuously confronted him with his mortality.

Three months after YOU highlighted his plight Vincent Barrington – the 16-year-old with the rare blood group O-negative, whose community helped raise money for his bone marrow transplant (19 November 2009) – lost his fight against aplastic anaemia.

A donor was found in Europe and the necessary cash raised but the courageous teen’s body rejected the donor marrow and he wasn’t able to keep up the fight any longer.

He died on 11 February and more than 750 people attended his funeral. On his Facebook support group more than 1 000 people expressed their grief.

Following Vincent’s death his friends at Wessel Maree High School in Odendaalsrus, dressed in T-shirts bearing his image, attended the Relay for Life meeting of the Cancer Association of South Africa in Welkom.

Each of them held a lantern made out of a white bag filled with sand and containing a candle. “On the lanterns there were handwritten messages from each of them to Vincent,” his mother, Sanet, says. “It was beautiful. I was overwhelmed.”

Afterwards some of the teens came to tell her they knew Vincent would never have given up the fight. That’s the way her son was – he never gave up hope.

At the end his organs started failing and he was almost blind. “Every day I told him how much I loved him and even when he could no longer speak he would mouth the words ‘love you’,” Sanet says.

She cries for him every day but she says bravely, “I know he’s in a better place, a place where he’ll never feel any pain again.”

Read the full article in the latest issue of YOU.

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