From the moment he was born, just a few days after the start of the new millennium, the bond between Alison Lapper and her son Parys was extraordinary.
& # 39; He was placed on my chest and I could touch him with my shoulder. It was a great feeling, & she said in an interview, just a few weeks after his birth.
& # 39; They always talk about the love you have for your child like no other – and I finally understood. & # 39;
Determined to do as much as possible for her son herself, the fiercely independent mother – because of a congenital disorder, she was born without arms and short legs – gave her son breastfeeding for ten months, learned to change his diaper with her feet and even (then) he was small) managed to lift him with her teeth.
From the moment he was born, just a few days after the start of the new millennium, the bond between Alison Lapper and her son Parys was extraordinary (photographed in 2005)
Later, Parys would ride on his mother's lap while maneuvering in a wheelchair and walking to the arm of the chair as he grew up; which happened quickly, when the cherubian blond-haired boy exceeded his 3ft in the context of his mother by the time he went to school.
A great mother-son relationship, a remarkable bond of trust. In later years, Alison and Parys talked about the importance of that confidence as he grew, negotiating the dangers of busy roads and the like.
Alison & # 39; s voice was not in a position to grasp her son's hand, and was her means of protecting her son.
It is all those things that make the sudden death of Parys Lapper at the age of 19 so tragic.
The circumstances of his death are unknown; Alison & # 39; s fiancee Si Clift gave no further detail when he announced on Facebook: & # 39; Tragically, Parys Lapper, who was only 19 years old, suddenly & # 39; died a week ago.
It is all those things that make the sudden death of Parys Lapper at the age of 19 so tragic
In a message to followers, he described Parys as a naughty, generous, kind, loving, frustrating, cheeky, forgiving, beautiful boy. He was his own husband. He was a good son. & # 39;
Alison, an artist, placed a photographic tribute to the child she once thought she could never have, a montage of images taken over the years.
Her social media pages document the warmth of their relationship; smiling together at parties and events, his arm lovingly wrapped around her shoulder in front of a white Christmas tree.
Today, many other people who have never known Parys personally will also feel a sense of sadness at his death.
From before his birth, Parys was in the public eye because of the marble statue of Marc Quinn of Alison, made during her pregnancy and so memorable on display at Trafalgar Square
Much of Parys' young life was captured by TV cameras that record the acclaimed BBC series Child Of Our Time, presented by professor Robert Winston
This is because much of Parys' young life was captured by TV cameras that record the acclaimed BBC series Child Of Our Time, presented by Professor Robert Winston.
Child Of Our Time was meant to show the different experiences of a child of the new millennium and until they turned eight, the 25 children were filmed annually.
Since then there have been intermittent series to update their lives, the latter just two years ago. The project was meant to end around their 20th birthday. Tragically, Parys is the first to die.
From his birth, Parys was in the public eye because of the marble statue of Marc Quinn of Alison, made during her pregnancy and so memorable on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square from 2005 to the end of 2007, more than five years after Alison had posed.
Determined to do as much as possible for her son, the fiercely independent mother – because of a congenital disorder, she was born without arms and small shortened legs – breastfeed her son for ten months
She later recalled: & # 39; Normally people ask if you are pregnant if you have a boy or a girl. All I was asked was, "Will he be like you?" (Photo in 2006)
Parys is the unseen presence in that work of art, a large replica of which was on display at the opening ceremony of the Paralympics 2012.
When Alison sat in front of the statue, she was seven months pregnant, so the marble bump is Parys. The image divided public opinion sharply, but was praised as the most powerful work by a British artist in decades.
Alison and Parys saw it for the first time in Italy before it was transported to London. Parys response? & # 39; But where am I, Mom? & # 39; In 2005, when the statue was unveiled in the London house, Parys then sat five, on his mother's lap, soaked blonde locks that framed his cherubic face.
But while the TV cameras were waiting in line to interview his mother, Parys had one thought: & # 39; Mommy, when's the party? & # 39;
& # 39; Later, later, & # 39; Alison said, bravely fighting to keep her focus. As the interview continued, you heard a soft voice that asked: & # 39; When though, when later? & # 39;
Alison treated the moment with the aplomb that is known everywhere by parents with multiple tasks
Alison treated the moment with the aplomb that is known everywhere by parents with multiple tasks.
Yet there was a time when she thought she could never be a mother.
& # 39; I got so used to it that people with disabilities had no relationships and had no children, and I suppose I had blocked all thoughts of getting children out of my mind, & # 39; she said in an interview in 2003.
& # 39; But I was lucky because my doctor and gynecologist were very supportive and when I became pregnant, I was absolutely determined to keep the child. & # 39; Alison had to deal with disapproval from the start (and even before); the questions about how she might handle it; the judgement.
She later recalled: & # 39; Normally people ask if you are pregnant if you have a boy or a girl. All I was asked was, "Will he be like you?"
When she was born in 1965, doctors thought she would die. When she did not, she was sent to Chailey Heritage School, East Sussex (photo in 2007) at the age of six weeks
Alison, who had had a relationship that sparkled shortly after she discovered she was pregnant, was told that there was a five percent chance that her child would be born with the same condition, phocomelia, a condition similar to that caused by Thalidomide.
But as proof of the steel determination that has marked her 54 years, she said: & I would only tell people that if he were born like me, would that be a crime? And wouldn't I be the best mom he could have so that I could teach him how to handle? & # 39;
When Parys was born on January 6, 2000, he was of course perfect. Alison never mentioned his father, but from the beginning she was determined that her son would have a childhood far removed from her own upbringing.
When she was born in 1965, doctors thought she would die. When she did not do so, she was sent to Chailey Heritage School in East Sussex, a home where six children with physical disabilities were taken care of, at six weeks old.
He would ride on the arm of his mother's wheelchair, something he did even at the age of 13 (photo in 2006)
She did not see her mother again until she was four, and despite the contact during her childhood and adulthood, the relationship was later completely broken.
Alison shunned artificial limbs, found her own way, left Chailey at the age of 17 and earned a scoop in visual arts at the University of Brighton before earning her living as an artist for the organization for foot and foot painter artists.
There was a three-year marriage that ended in divorce and later, out of the blue, Parys came.
The cameras of the child of our time were present when Alison received an anesthetic injection into a vein in her neck before she had a caesarean section at the Worthing Hospital.
And cameras put so overwhelming emotion on the face of the new mother (she was aware everywhere) when her new arrival – all 5 pounds from him – was held on her shoulder for the first time.
Alison shunned artificial limbs, went her own way, left Chailey at the age of 17 and earned a scoop in visual arts at the University of Brighton (photo in 2005)
Images from the series show that Alison is behind the wheel of her specially adapted car and then carefully and attentively leads her preschool son outside while watching the traffic.
It also shows how she ties his shoelaces to her feet.
But one thing Alison always wanted to avoid was that her son would become her caretaker.
& # 39; I remember that when Parys was two or three, a social worker in our file wrote that he needed special holidays and days as a delay to look after me when he was older. She just assumed he would be my main caretaker, & Alison said in 2007.
& # 39; I was so angry. How dare she plan our lives for us? My heart goes out to children who are carers because I know how much hard work it is.
One thing Alison always wanted to avoid was that her son would become her caretaker (photo in 2010)
& # 39; Children have the right to be children and have a life, and although Parys may pick something up for me or lend me a hand with something, he is not expected to.
& # 39; He sees me, mistakes and such. He sees mama when she is weak and in pain or just tired. He knows what I am like when I feel that way, but I never want him to be obliged to me because of my disability. & # 39;
So she has hired two caregivers for years to help her with things like cooking and getting dressed, and to give her more time to focus on Parys.
& # 39; I couldn't do it without help, but I put 200 percent effort into it because I know there is always the threat that it can be taken away & she said.
How heartbreaking Alison & # 39; s words now seem. & # 39; A social worker threatened to have him removed because I could not find help, but he will never be taken away from me. I have had to work hard for everything in my life. Nothing will make me lose my son. & # 39;
And that's how TV viewers looked over the years. They saw Parys go to school, his mother took him to class, determined to be like any other mother.
For many years she employed two caregivers to help her with things like cooking and getting dressed, and to give her more time to focus on Parys (pictured in 2005)
He would later ride on the arm of his mother's wheelchair, something he did even at the age of 13. Alison remembered a senior teacher who had the urge to tell Parys to go down. & # 39; I said: & # 39; Excuse me, you see other parents walking arm in arm with their children, that's how we do it, so tell him not to leave my chair. & # 39; & # 39;
There were all the regular moments that form a childhood: swimming together, playing together. A documentary shows how Parys makes a playful mold of & # 39; i in your belly & # 39 ;.
& # 39; Roll on, mommy, & # 39; he says.
& # 39; How am I going to do that? & # 39; she asks.
& # 39; With your chin, & # 39; Parys says soberly.
However, life was by no means easy. Alison spoke about mental health problems when Parys was about eight and mother and son talked about the pressure of growing up with a constant stream of other people going in and out of their lives, not to mention the overwhelming sparkle of public interest stand.
"It's great to have a famous mother, but the disadvantage is that she always talks to everyone," said Parys when he approached his 13th birthday.
When season ten of Child Of Our Time was broadcast in 2013, Alison spoke movingly about her son growing up and about the future ahead of us.
There were all the regular moments that form a childhood: swimming together, playing together (shown in 2010)
# I look at him and my baby is gone and I see a glimpse of the man he is going to look like; the way he walks, the way he carries himself, a little bit differently.
& # 39; As he grows and changes, I hope we will always have that relationship. I did my best and I hope I didn't do it badly. & # 39;
The last glimpse that Parys viewers had was in 2017, when she was 16 years old, still blond and a strikingly handsome young man, he said: I absolutely want my own place, my own family, a new life, really. You can do what you want when you are older, you can be who you want to be. & # 39;
Tomorrow, the mother who aspired to give him the normal childhood she was denied will attend her son's funeral at the Worthing Crematorium.
She has asked as many noisy engines as possible to guide Parys on his last journey, a final act of a determined mother for her beloved son.
Tomorrow, the mother who aspired to give him the normal childhood she was denied will attend her son's funeral at Worthing Crematorium (photo in 2005)
. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) news