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UK Mourns Death of Opposition Leader`s Son

Posted February. 27, 2009 08:58,   


The United Kingdom is mourning the death of opposition leader David Cameron’s severely disabled son at age six.

Ivan Cameron, who had suffered from cerebral palsy and a severe form of epilepsy from birth, became ill overnight. The Conservative Party leader and his wife Samantha brought their child to the hospital but Ivan soon died of abdominal failure in 45 minutes.

Media reports said the couple cried when doctors failed to save their child and when Ivan’s body was sent to the morgue. All British newspapers and TV stations reported the death as their top story and condolences rushed in.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown canceled his question-and-answer session to mourn Ivan’s death. “The death of a child is an unbearable sorrow that no parent should ever have to endure," he said.

Having lost his own baby daughter in 2002, Brown said, “(Ivan) suffered much in his short life but he brought joy and love to those around him.”

"Politics can sometimes divide us. But there is a common human bond that unites us in sympathy and compassion at times of trial."

Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrats’ treasury spokesman, said, “I would simply express the hope that this is a personal tragedy that transcends all party barriers, and I would simply want to express the hope that the family are given the space and there is privacy to grieve and cope with this tragedy that they have experienced.”

William Hague of the Conservative Party expressed Cameron’s gratitude to members for canceling the prime minister’s weekly Q&A session.

Born in 2002, Ivan was also special to the Tories. Describing the moment when he learned of his son’s disability as a first-term lawmaker, Cameron said, “The news hits you like a freight train.”

He and his wife, who were both from aristocratic families, said they came to understand other people in trouble better through the heartbreaking journey with their son.

Representing a “compassionate Conservative,” Cameron sought to shake the cold image of the Conservative Party that had plagued it since the era of Margaret Thatcher.

The Independent said in a column, “Parents see the world through their children`s eyes. And Ivan Cameron changed his father`s view of everything.”