Little boy asked parents to take heartbreaking photo before dying in dad's arms

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
This is the heartbreaking moment a cancer-stricken little boy died in his dad's arms - after shouting out for his parents to take a "picture now".
Brave Braiden Prescott passed away two days after being admitted to a hospice last September, having battled neuroblastoma three times.

In his final moments, the seven-year-old yelled out for his grandparents before requesting for his parents, Steph and Wayne, to take a snap of him,

Despite not having spoken for several days, he told them with his dying breath: "Picture now." Moments later, he passed away in his father's arms.

Steph and Wayne are now sharing the emotional image that their son requested they take to raise awareness of the early symptoms of his rare cancer.

They desperately want no other parent to go through the devastation they did.
Steph, a full-time mum from Ince, Greater Manchester, described how she woke up at 3am on the day of Braiden's death to hear him "choking".
"I was at Braiden's bedside during the night when I was woken up at 3am by the sound of him choking" she recalled.
"I buzzed the nurse in and they told me it was nearly time - what I could hear was his death rattle. I woke Wayne up.
"I was supposed to be holding him but I couldn't so they sat him on Wayne's knee. Wayne cuddled him as I sat by his side, holding his hand."

She added: "He suddenly shouted out for his nanna and grandad as he knew they had been there that day. He then shouted 'picture now'."

Steph said her son's outburst was all the more unusual because he had tumours on his jaw, which meant he couldn't open his mouth properly .
"I was a bit shocked but I followed orders - he'd not spoken in a few days but then all of a sudden he started shouting it," she said.
Minutes after Steph took the tear-jerking picture of her 38-year-old husband cuddling their small son, he passed away.
"When he passed we were shocked, you don't ever want to think you're losing your baby, but we knew it was coming," said the mum.

"I was numb.

"I didn't really feel anything and Wayne lost lots of weight as he wasn't eating."
Braiden was first diagnosed with neuroblastoma aged two. However, Steph claimed 'mother's instinct' told her he was poorly at just six months old.

"Braiden was diagnosed in 2012 but I knew 18 months earlier something was seriously wrong - call it mum's instinct," she said.

"He was limping, had a high temperature constantly which we couldn't get down, he was pale, and wouldn't eat."
She said Braiden was under a specialist for two months and was later diagnosed in February 2012 as having septic arthritis.

However, after an operation on his right hip, he didn't seem to get any better.
Steph said she demanded a scan that found a mass on his stomach and the bone lining was thicker, which indicated cancer.
"When we were told the outcome of the scan I was numb," she recalled.

"It was like I was listening but I wasn't there.
"They sat us down and told us it was either a rare type of cancer or leukaemia. Sadly they later found out it was neuroblastoma."

Little Braiden underwent 11 different types of chemotherapy and even went to America for immunotherapy.
However, he relapsed twice and passed away at Derian House Hospice in Chorley, Lancashire, at 5.05am on September 1 last year.

"It was heartbreaking watching him go through it all," said Steph.
"After he passed away we had Braiden at home so family could see him one last time.
"His little brother Tyler was just five at the time. It was important to me that he spent time with him.
"He had been through the journey with him all those years - we felt it was important to be there at the end too."
Steph and Wayne have also shared a touching picture of Tyler holding Braiden's hand as his body lay at home just days before his funeral.

Steph said: "I know the pictures are hard to look at.
"I hope it will shock people into thinking about neuroblastoma and what these children go through.
"I just want as many people as possible to know about it. If your child has a limp, runs a really high temperature and isn't eating get them to A&E for a blood test.

"Only then will you know for sure whether it's something to be concerned about."
Steph said they are learning to live without Braiden, but he will always be an important part of the family.
"The first Christmas without him was hard, we were still a bit numb and in shock, you just carry on for the other two as normally as you can," she said.

"It's still hard now - it's never going to get better, I think we just learn to live with it."
She added: "We speak about him every day as we want to make sure his memory is kept alive. He will always be known."
Steph and Wayne were appalled to learn a woman called Megan was sharing his picture on social media for her own purposes.

She was asking well-wishers wanting to ‘send anything’ to address it to her son Blake.
Megan, from America, apparently posted in a WhatsApp group: "There’s nothing worse than watching your baby fight for their life".
She also wrote “I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy".
“It’s def hard. He usually sits on my lap and lets me hold him, today he said he’s a big boy and can do it himself," she added.

Steph told the Manchester Evening News she had contacted the woman, who apologised and claimed she 'didn't know the story' behind it.

However, she said at the time the stranger's actions were "unforgivable".
Now, Steph is 18 weeks pregnant with a little girl. She believes the unborn baby is a gift from Braiden who always dreamed of having a sister.

"Braiden's sent her down from heaven - he always wanted a little sister," she said.
Neuroblastoma is a rare cancer that affects children, mostly under the age of five years old.
Around 100 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma each year in the UK. Very rarely it can occur in older children, teenagers and adults.

Neuroblastoma often starts in the tummy (abdomen), commonly in the adrenal glands or the nerve tissue at the back of the abdomen.

Like other cancers it can spread to other parts of the body. The most common places are the bones, liver and skin. It spreads through the blood and lymphatic system.
This happens in about half of children with neuroblastoma.


Neuroblastoma usually develops in the abdomen.
The most common symptom is a lump in the tummy. This could make the child's tummy swell, causing discomfort or pain.
Occasionally it can affect the spinal cord. This can cause numbness, weakness and loss of movement in the lower part of the body.

Rarely it can appear as a lump in the neck, perhaps causing breathlessness or difficulty in swallowing.
Other symptoms depend on where the neuroblastoma starts in the body and whether it is just in one place (localised) or has spread to other parts of the body.
Source: Daily Mirror