Tributes paid after South Shields boy, three, tragically dies just four days after cancer diagnosis

The family of a three-year-old from South Shields who tragically died from cancer just a week after becoming unwell have paid tribute to their ‘perfect’ little boy.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 11:43 am

Robbie Elliott from the Nook area of the town, sadly died surrounded by his loved ones at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle on Friday, May 21 following a short battle with cancer.

The brave little boy had been receiving treatment, but the family were later informed that Robbie had widespread undifferentiated mesenchymal cancer and there was nothing they could do.

Paying tribute to her courageous son, mum Kayleigh Johnston, 28, said: “He was the most perfect little boy who had a heart of gold inside and out.

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Little Robbie Elliott tragically lost his battle with cancer after a brave fight.
Little Robbie Elliott tragically lost his battle with cancer after a brave fight.

"He would light up a room. He loved music and would have everybody up dancing and laughing.

"He was such a lovely little boy.”

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The Mortimer Infants pupil first underwent an MRI scan at Sunderland Royal Hospital just a week before he died after doctors raised concerns that a lump on his leg could be a possible bone infection called Osteomyelitis.

Robbie with step-dad Corey Wilson and siblings Alfie and Ava.

But the scan showed that Robbie had cysts in both of his kidneys and he was transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

Robbie underwent another scan and, on Monday, May 17, doctors told mum, Kayleigh, and step-dad, Corey Wilson, 30, the devastating news that their little boy had tumours on his stomach and kidneys, which appeared to be cancerous.

As Robbie’s condition began to deteriorate, he had a further scan a day later, which showed he had two tumours in his heart.

Robbie was transferred to the Freeman Hospital, where a CT scan showed he had three further tumours on his brain and one behind his nose, and doctors initially believed it was a cancer called clear cell sarcoma.

Mum Kayleigh Johnston with son Robbie.

However, doctors confirmed on the Thursday that Robbie had widespread undifferentiated mesenchymal cancer and he died just a day later.

Robbie was close to little brother, Alfie Elliott, two, and big sister, Ava Elliott, six, and enjoyed spending time with his family and friends at school.

Kayleigh said: "Alfie is finding it hard. There is only 15 months between them and they absolutely adored each other and did everything together.”

Robbie also leaves behind his dad, Dean Elliott, and his three grandmothers, Sue, Geraldine and Lisa, as well as his granddad, Paul.

Little Robbie Elliott, three, with big sister Ava Elliott, six.

In an effort to support the family and cover funeral costs, Robbie's godparents, Stephen and Vikki Williams, have set up a fundraiser, which has so far raised £3,292.

Stephen, 37, said: “He was the best, the most bubbly little boy you could ever meet.

“He was so polite. He was just perfect and as good as gold.”

Well-wishers have been leaving messages of support to Robbie’s family on Facebook.

Louise Page said: “The most unbelievably tragic time for this family and their friends. I can't imagine their pain sleep well little angel, sending so much love to your whole community xxxxxxx”

Michelle Abbs said: “Fly high little man, peace after pain. Thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.”

Godparents Stephen and Vikki Williams with Robbie Elliott.

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Robbie Elliott with sister Ava Elliott, six, and brother Alfie Elliott, two.
Robbie Elliott with step-dad Corey Wilson.