An inspirational little boy who was born four months prematurely and spent most of his short life in and out of hospital has died suddenly.
Little Blade Burgess, aged seven, finally succumbed to his health problems after being rushed in to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, his heartbroken mum Rosemarie Burgess told The Star.
“At the moment, it’s just not real,” she said. “Every day is still going on but he’s not here.”
Fighter Blade hit the headlines when he survived against all the odds after being born along with his twin, Freya, four months early in 2007.
As a result of all the complications arising from his premature birth, Blade spent six weeks in intensive care.
Doctors said he might not survive and gave Rosemarie and her former husband Darren the option of turning off his life support machine.
But instead the couple from Arbourthorne, who have five other children, had an emergency christening.
At the time Darren, now 45, said: “We knew he’d pull through so we called him Blade - they said he only had a couple of hours to live and Sheffield United always come through in the end.
“And he did. He’s a tough little cookie.”
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Young Blade - named after his dad’s favourite football team - continued to struggle with a range of health problems which included severe deafness, weak lungs, a tracheotomy and problems with his stomach.
But he battled on, realising his dream of being a Sheffield United mascot in 2011 and starting at Lower Meadow school.
He was such a big United fan he even had the club’s logo printed inside his hearing aid ear mould.
Rosemarie, aged 38, told The Star today: “Everything was going well. He’d had an operation but there was no warning to it, no run-up to it. “He went to bed as normal, took badly during the night, and was rushed to hospital.
“They worked on him and then took him into theatre but we lost him in intensive care.”
Rosemarie said Blade’s death hadn’t yet sunk in for his twin sister Freya, and his other siblings India, also seven, Sienna, two, Connor, 15, and Kelsey, 16.
She said: “I’ve told them that during the day he’s watching them from a cloud and at night he’s the brightest star they can see.”
The youngster’s funeral is still to be arranged but will take place at City Road Cemetery next week.
Blade will be buried in a Sheffield United shirt with his name on the back.
An inquest into the cause of his death will be held. Sheffield United legend Tony Currie is due to attend Blade’s funeral, which is set to take place on Friday, October 24, at 12.45pm, at City Road cemetery. Mourners are asked to wear red, white and black.