Father is with IRA bomb victim, 12, as life support system is turned off

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The Independent Online
TIM PARRY, the 12-year-old boy who suffered appalling head injuries in the IRA bombings in Warrington, died yesterday with his father at his bedside.

Tim never regained consciousness after being caught in the second blast in Warrington's Golden Square shopping centre last Saturday. He died at 11.20am in the neurological unit at the Walton Hospital in Liverpool.

His parents, Colin, 37, and Wendy, 35, arrived at the hospital early yesterday morning with Tim's brother, Dominic and his sister, Abigail. The two children held Tim's hand before the life support system which had been keeping him alive was turned off. They left Mr Parry alone with Tim as he died.

Tim suffered severe injuries to his face and head in the second bomb as he was trying to move away from the scene of the first explosion. He had shown slight signs of movement and some brain function, but after he was transferred to the neuro-surgical unit in Liverpool it became clear he was not going to able to breathe without the aid of a ventilator.

Doctors, including John Miles, the consultant neuro-surgeon who had been treating Tim, knew early yesterday morning that it would be impossible for him to survive and, after discussing the case with his parents, decided to switch off the ventilator.

After his son's death, Mr Parry said he and his wife had realised the inevitable outcome. 'Because of Tim's efforts, without really meaning to, we became very optimistic. Although we did not say it openly, in truth we became very optimistic. Yesterday morning we were almost believing that the rest would be plain sailing. We really did think he would make it.

'The surgeon did say miracles can happen and of course you cling to that and we desperately hoped one might.

'He just passed away extremely quietly. I know the country was praying for Tim, it is terrible it never worked. Now we have got to cling to the view that some good may come of this.'

The Parrys said they offered their good wishes to the Irish people in Dublin who were trying to organise a peace movement. But Mr Parry said: 'Quite frankly it is going to take a lot more people like that to stand up and be counted and make sure parents do not have to go through the absolute horror, and I mean horror, that Wendy and I have gone through this week. I honestly don't feel any hatred towards the IRA. It is not because I am being magnanimous. I just feel loss for us. We produced a bloody good kid, one of three, he was a fine lad. He had his moments. He could be a cheeky, impudent little pup, but he was a great lad, a good kid. The IRA . . . I have no words for them at all.'

Pupils at Great Sankey County High School, where Tim was a pupil, wept when they were told of his death just before their lunch break. John Britton, the headmaster, said: 'This terrible news has been a long time in coming. It was bad enough to begin with but this dreadful news is compounded by cruelty, mental cruelty.'

The funeral of Johnathan Ball, aged three, who died instantly in the first explosion last Saturday will take place this morning in Warrington.

(Photograph omitted)