David Cameron's son, Ivan, who suffered from cerebral palsy, passes away
David Cameron’s eldest son, who was suffering with cerebral palsy and epilepsy, has died.
The Tory party leader’s six-year-old child, Ivan, passed away early this morning at a London hospital after falling ill overnight, a spokesman for the Conservative party confirmed.
‘It is with great sadness that David and Samantha Cameron must confirm the death of their six-year-old son Ivan,’ a statement said.
‘Ivan, who suffered from cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy, was taken ill overnight and died at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, early this morning.
‘David and Samantha would ask that their privacy is respected at this terribly difficult time.’
The eldest of Cameron’s three children, Ivan required constant round-the-clock care. He was unable to walk and was fed via a tube through his stomach.
The Tory leader was set to appear in Parliament today for Prime Minister’s questions, but will now remain at home with his family.
In the past Cameron has spoken freely about Ivan’s health. Back in 2006 he described Ivan as: ‘A wonderful boy. He has got the most lovely eyes and he definitely interacts with us in the way he looks at you and the way he moves his head, but he often is in a lot of pain.’
He admitted that the news his son was disabled had hit him ‘like a freight train’.
‘You obviously worry about everything as a parent and you start asking questions.
‘Initially, we were told it was fine, then we went to hospital and they ran some tests and we were told he had a very rare condition which has very poor outcomes.
He added: ‘You are depressed for a while because you are grieving for the difference between your hopes and the reality.
‘But then you get over that, because he’s wonderful.’
In an interview with the Daily Mail in 2008, Cameron said of Ivan’s birth: ‘We did go through a very difficult time after we had Ivan. I have heard it likened to a period of mourning.
‘You are mourning the difference between what you thought was going to happen – when you imagine yourself having children, you always think of bouncing them around, running with them, playing football. When it becomes clear that isn’t going to be the case, there is huge disappointment and uncertainty.’
The party leader revealed, however, that he and his wife, Samantha, learned to adapt.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife, Sarah, have released a statement saying they were ‘very saddened’ by the death of Cameron’s son and sent their condolences.
The Brown family can sympathise with the Cameron’s tragic loss after their own baby daughter Jennifer Jane died in 2002.
The Prime Minister’s statement continued: ‘The death of a child is a loss no parent should have to bear.
‘I know Ivan was a child who brought joy to all those who knew him and his was a life surrounded by love.
‘The thoughts and prayers of the whole country are with David, Samantha and their family.’