Bishop’s Waltham man Ricky Smith dies following courageous battle with brain tumour

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Image of family man with children

Tributes have been paid to Bishop’s Waltham Dad-of-four Ricky Smith who has died following a courageous battle with a brain tumour.

His brother Aaron wrote this tribute: “You fought hard and didn’t go easily my bro 💔 I will always be proud of the way you kept your dignity and strength throughout this battle.

“We are heartbroken and life will never be the same without you, but I am honoured to have had you as my brother 💔.”

Friend Raith O’Brien said: “Really sad about this news this morning, my old mate Ricky Smith passed away, he was a good old mate of mine, a lovely man with a heart of gold, god bless you my old friend.”

Another friend, Sammy Weeks, wrote: “Rest in peace Ricky, you really were one of life’s gems and will be greatly missed. Sending my love to all Ricky’s family and friends. We’re all heartbroken.”

Self-employed groundworker Ricky Smith, 39, started suffering from bad headaches in February this year but his family says doctors put it down to lack of water, lack of sleep or stress. As a last-ditch attempt to help Ricky, his partner Katrina booked him an optician appointment thinking perhaps he needed glasses.

Opticians noticed blood behind his eyes and sent him on a same-day emergency referral to hospital. There he underwent a CT scan. This led to an emergency MRI and finally the news came that Ricky had a grade 4 butterfly glioblastoma – a fast-growing and aggressive brain tumour.

Doctors said they could not remove the tumour due to its location and gave Ricky, who went to infant and junior school in Bishop’s Waltham and secondary school in Swanmore, just 15 months to live.

Family and friends began raising money to fund ground-breaking treatment in Germany where different care is available to people with a similar diagnosis to Ricky, who was dad to Roman, 15, Louis, seven, Carson, five and Arlo, two.

Friend Alissa Triance set up a fundraising page https://www.gofundme.com/f/ricks-army-cancer-will-not-win and the Rick’s Army campaign raised more than £100,000.

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