When James Everett was first diagnosed with muscular dystrophy doctors said he would probably not live to be 19.
He passed away on Sunday aged 27 and his mum, Angie Gillespie, said she counted ‘every extra day as a blessing’.
The Holwell family are coming to terms with the loss of James, who fought his debilitating condition with bravery and good humour after being confined to a wheelchair since he was 10.
After his health deteriorated, he spent his final hours at Rainbows Hospice, where he had many years of support.
Angie told the Melton Times: “They told us he wouldn’t get to the age of 19.
“A lot of young people we have known with muscular dystrophy have died when they were 14 or 15.
“So I count every extra day I had with James as a blessing.
“I feel comforted that he was relaxed and without pain in his last 36 hours.
“I think he was ready to go.”
Angie was keen to thank the many local people who have raised money for James over the years, with one fundraising trip enabling him to go on holiday to Florida.
Tesco also provided him with a high-tech £11,000 wheelchair eight years ago.
Angie added: “He enjoyed life and he loved being around able-bodied people.
“We’ve had so many Facebook messages since he died saying how much James inspired them.”
James’ funeral is at 11.45am on December 21 at Loughborough Crematorium, for family and close friends, followed by a celebration of his life at Asfordby All Saints’ at 1pm.