Published: 13:32, 23 April 2019
| Updated: 13:55, 23 April 2019
Smiling and giggling regularly, it was hard to believe little Wesley Gibson was suffering from a heart condition.
Lovingly nicknamed Warrior Wes by his family, the tot was born with his arteries the wrong way wrong - defying doctors by making it through pregnancy.
But, despite a remarkable fight he put up, Wesley heartbreakingly died at just 16-months old of heart failure on February 28.
The family of Wesley Gibson pay tribute to their boy who "brought so much joy"
Now, his parents - Matt and Sophie Gibson - are hoping to raise awareness about Wes' condition.
The couple, who live in Ramgate with Mrs Gibson's eight-year-old daughter Alisha, were told of Wes' complications 20 weeks into the pregnancy.
"The emotions of finding out it was a boy were amazing," Mr Gibson said.
"Then the next minute the doctors are referring us to St Thomas' and Evelina children's hospital - we'd never been to a hospital like that in London before, so the anxiety started to kick in for all of us, especially for Sophie.
"And even when we went for the heart scan, we still thought maybe there's a small problem or it wasn't as dramatic.
"The doctor showed us a picture of a normal heart, then drew a diagram of Wesley's heart, and the dramatic differences between them were quite severe - there were five or six defects with his heart, which is obviously devastating for a mum and dad expecting a new child."
Doctors gave the couple the decision to terminate the pregnancy - but they say it was something they "were never going to do".
Mrs Gibson added: "I'm not one to walk, and I just felt I wanted him to get through, so I let him fight, and they said there was a chance he could die inside me.
"They didn't think he'd make he through the pregnancy at first, as he had two holes in his heart, three valves instead of four and his arteries were the wrong way round.
"While I was pregnant, they asked me three times if I wanted to abort, and I kept saying no, because as long as he had a heartbeat going I was not taking that away from him.
"He was born on October 25, 2017, two weeks premature via c-section."
Little Wesley soon became an imperative part of the family, taking life in his stride despite his condition and developing well.
Laughing often with a cheeky grin, the couple say he "brought so much joy" to their lives.
"Wesley David Arthur Gibson was the most loving, strongest boy I'll ever meet," Mr Gibson said. "From day one, when I first met him as a dad, he had a radiant smile, he was a lovely, caring little boy, and throughout all of his troubles that he had been through from day one he just had a radiance about him, he was laughing when he could.
"He brought so much joy to all of us, even through times when I think he was in so much pain, he would still bring an amazing amount of love and comfort into our lives.
"It has made me stronger as a person, and as a dad.
"You never really realise the special moments in life until they become memories, and the everyday things parents take for granted - taking them out for walks, getting them dressed, putting them to bed - you never realise until that moments gone."
Wesley also quickly became very important to sister "devoted" Alisha, with Mr and Mrs Gibson describing them as "best friends".
"To look at him, he looked like any other baby, he would giggle, jump around," Mrs Gibson said. "He developed his own little personality, he liked playing with his bricks, going to the park or down the beach.
"It has been hard for Alisha, she doesn't like expressing herself in front of people. If she wants to cry, she will go to her room and cry.
"I don't think she knows properly how to deal with it."
Mr Gibson added: "She was so close to her brother, they were by each other's sides all the time. She was a devoted sister. They had an amazing relationship together.
"To see them together was just a lovely sight to see, she enjoyed his company. It's just a sad thing that we're never going to see them grow up together. And I'm sure that's why she's suffering inside, and as she gets older she'll obviously learn more about grief and how you live with it - but she's so young, she doesn't know how she's feeling."