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Fundraising target reached for Maidstone four-year-old Riley Bourne's funeral

Three days after the tragic death of a Maidstone four-year-old, a fundraising campaign launched to raise money for his funeral has met its £5,000 target.

Riley Bourne, nicknamed 'Smiley Riley' because of his fun-loving nature, sadly died on Monday following a short battle with acute myeloid leukaemia.

The youngster, who lived in Park Wood Maidstone with mum Joanne and baby brother Roman, had first become ill on Sunday, February 12, with chickenpox.

Riley with his baby brother Roman
Riley with his baby brother Roman

Four days later when he wasn't eating and was complaining of stomach pains, his parents thought something was wrong.

His mother rang for paramedics after Riley started coughing up blood, and he was taken to Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury.

Doctors found suspicious cells in his blood and transferred him to St George's Hospital in London, where it was confirmed he had a rare form of leukaemia.

His body was too fragile to fight off both illnesses, and his parents unfortunately had to let him go on Monday.

Riley with his mum, Joanne Bourne
Riley with his mum, Joanne Bourne

A funeral fund was set up by family friends Charlotte Howden and Emily Russ to support Miss Bourne and Nick Riddall, Riley's stepfather, through the grieving process.

Miss Howden said: "Riley was a beautiful, selfless, considerate boy, and was loved by everyone that met him. He will be sorely missed.

"It's really important that they can all spend time together without excess stress so they can all have the time they need to bond and be together as a family, that's the most important thing."

Riley with his baby brother Roman
Riley with his baby brother Roman

Money raised from the JustGiving page will go towards funeral costs, as well as a trip to Disneyland for the family to let off lanterns in Riley's memory.

Miss Bourne explained: "Going to Disney was a dream of Riley’s, but we couldn’t afford it, so we thought we’d go some other time. We never thought we might not get the chance.

"We’d like to get the whole family out to pay tribute to him, and we’d take lanterns with us and get them signed by all his favourite characters before letting them off in his memory."

In just three days, generous givers have managed to meet the £5,000 target for the page, which is still open for donations.

To donate, click here.

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