Burnley College student Joby dies aged 18

Joby Flynn (s)
Joby Flynn (s)
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A COURAGEOUS, fun-loving and inspirational teenager who always had a smile on his face has died after battling cancer for much of his life.

Joseph “Joby” Flynn (18), of Waddington Avenue, Burnley, died on Wednesday, November 14th. He had beaten the disease twice before but it returned for a third time, a year after he was given the all-clear.

The Beatles fan and motocross enthusiast, who was a student at Burnley College, was diagnosed with leukaemia aged four. He had radiotherapy and chemotherapy and seemed to recover, although he was left with underlying health problems and unable to play sports.

When Joby was 15, he started having fits and a scan revealed he had a brain tumour, triggered by the radiotherapy.

Again he was treated with radiotherapy, chemotherapy and steroids and almost 12 months ago his family received the news they had been waiting for, that the tumour had gone.

His mum Sarah Fallows (36) said: “We thought he was going to be OK. He had some problems, he had some facial fits but he was on medication for that.”

Recently the fits worsened and Joby, who attended Brunshaw Primary School and Unity College, was admitted to the Royal Blackburn Hospital 10 weeks ago. Soon after that he suffered a stroke and was put on a ventilator at the Royal Preston Hospital.

He seemed to recover but was taken ill and was re-admitted to Blackburn on November 11th. Doctors told Sarah and his dad, David Fallows, that he had suffered two massive strokes, leaving him with brain damage, and the cancer had returned. They then took the heart-breaking decision to switch off his ventilator.

Sarah said: “It’s what he would have wanted. He said if he ever got cancer again he didn’t want treatment.

“He was so young and full of life. He always had a smile on his face. He was a very independent young man.

“He loved playing on his Playstation 3 and riding his moto-cross bike. He liked to take engines apart but he never really got round to put them back together.

“He didn’t want to be seen as ‘the cancer kid.’ He was such a thoughtful, caring boy. He was really witty and had a fantastic sense of humour. He always managed to make us laugh and considered everyone his friend.”

Since Joby’s death, Facebook and Twitter have been flooded with tributes. A celebration of his life will take place tomorrow (Saturday) at Burnley Crematorium at 11-20am.

He also leaves sisters Lauren (16) and Megan (13) and several step-sisters.

Sarah added: “We have been really overwhelmed reading all the nice things people have put about him.

“He was an inspiration to people, especially his friends. It’s hard because we do miss him but we remember all the good times we’ve had. He was a fighter.”