The late Ben Connolly
The parents of Ben Connolly have issued a heart-wrenching statement following the death of the second son in which they say they are grief-stricken but their boy is now free of the distress caused by his illness.
Ben, 11, lost his lifetime battle with a rare illness, passing away peacefully on Wednesday, July 22 at home, surrounded by his loving family.
His brother Jake died of the same rare condition Allan Herndon Dudley Syndrome in 2016 at the age of 2.
Ben's parents Terence and Nicolette issued a statement through The Ben and Jake Connolly Post on its Facebook page
"Here is the post we have anticipated with fear for so long. We are heartbroken to announce that our Ben has passed. He left this world peacefully yesterday, July 22nd.
"Ben’s name is rarely mentioned on this page without Jake’s. They go together like night follows day. Today, they are together again and this is our only solace for now. We know that it is the first day when neither of our boys are in any medical distress.
"Today, they get to manifest as the spirited beings we knew and loved- together. We are grief-stricken, but our boys are free.
"You have all followed the tale of our beautiful sons for a long time. You have given us the support and solidarity that we needed to carry on when times were sombre. With your determination, Ben was able to spend time in his home of dreams.
"Knowing how these precious months filled Ben’s face with smiles, will give us comfort in the days, weeks and months ahead.
Looking back over the lives of Ben and Jake on this rainy day, we are moved to realise that without the rain, there is no rainbow. Our boys never failed to inspire hope and colour in all who were lucky enough to know them. Their smiles were infectious. The joy in Ben’s face when a room was filled with music and song. His knowing affection for Grandad’s dog, Smudge.
"The more love he was showered with, the greater the bucket-loads of it he returned. This is what we will recall. Everyone should have a Ben in their lives. Thank you for following us on this journey and picking us up when we fell.
"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam".
Read also: HEARTBREAK AT THE PASSING OF BEN CONNOLLY