A distraught family has shared the final photo of their teenage daughter who tragically passed away on the same day Boris Johnson was partying in Downing Street. Ruby Fuller, 18, who lost her life to blood cancer, spent her final days away from family and friends because she was determined “to do the right thing” and obey the Covid restrictions.
Her final moments were spent with her parents and younger sister who tried to give her “the best possible end of life”. The last ever photo of her was taken one week before she died. She was in a hot tub with her dad outside her family home, reports The Mirror.
Due to Covid restrictions, her loved ones couldn’t join them so they had to say bye via Zoom. Ruby died on May 15, the same day Mr Johnson was snapped enjoying cheese and wine with his colleagues and wife, Carrie.
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(Image: Emma Jones)
Speaking after the PM was fined £50 for attending another rule-breaking birthday gathering, Ruby’s devastated mum Emma Jones said her daughter would have been “mad” at the Prime Minister’s behaviour.
Emma, 52, an environmental consultant, said: “While Boris and Rishi partied, we tried to give Ruby the best possible end of life.
“A hot tub and a blow-up flamingo were all we could manage. No friends, grandparents or cousins. Not even for 10 minutes. She had to say goodbye on Zoom. We deserve better.”
Ruby was 17 years old when she was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic non-Hodgkins lymphoma, which developed into leukaemia. “Until three weeks before Ruby died, we thought she was going to get better,” Emma said.
Ruby spent her final weeks with her parents Emma and Dylan and her younger sister Tabitha, now 15, in a bubble at their home in Crystal Palace.
They played board games, watched films, got ice cream delivery, a friend lent them a hot tub and Ruby’s godmother sent them a blow-up flamingo – and they managed to create some special memories.
(Image: Emma Jones)
“Ruby would be on Zoom calls with her friends and family,” Emma said. “We had a Zoom quiz with my family the day before Ruby died.” Speaking about the lockdown, Emma said: “It was just the four of us. It was really hard – and it was really hard afterwards.
“It’s such a devastating thing to watch your child die, then you’re left with just each other, crippled by grief, and you can’t even open your doors and let people pour in with their love. It was always going to be the most desperately sad and hard time but the rules made it harder.
“But at the time we didn’t begrudge that. We were living in a pandemic and we were doing what everybody had to do – there were no exceptions. So when it came to light that the people making the rules were not in it with us, it became very insulting.
“It’s not even rules – it’s the law. He [Mr Johnson] has demonstrated that he has no moral compass. It’s so frustrating that we didn’t seem to have a choice.”
(Image: Ruby’s mum says her late daughter would have been “mad” had she known Boris Johnson had broken the rules)
Emma said Ruby would have loved to have had her friends, grandparents and cousins with her at the end – but she refused to put anyone at risk. “We did talk about whether we would ask them to come even though it was against the rules, but she felt like she didn’t want to put other people at risk,” Emma said. “She had always followed the rules and felt very strongly about doing the right thing.”
The family tragically couldn’t have a proper funeral after Ruby passed away. They put a bench in their garden where people could come – one at a time – and write memories and share photos while Emma and the family spoke to them from an upstairs window.
Despite everything that’s happened, Emma says she is still glad they stuck to the rules because if someone had caught Covid from visiting them “that would have made something so sad so much worse.”
“When you’re looking after someone at their end of life, what they want is paramount,” Emma said. “I don’t regret what we did at all. People would have been put at risk. I just regret that we didn’t have a leader who can lead by example.
“Ruby would be so mad about Boris Johnson’s behaviour so I’m doing it [speaking out] for her. She would want people to know about the sacrifices she, her family and friends made and how utterly insulting the Prime Minister’s behaviour is.”
Ruby asked to be remembered by the motto ‘live kindly, live loudly,’ her mum says. The family are trying to raise half a million pounds to fund research into T-cell blood cancers.
Ruby’s ‘Live Kindly, Live Loudly’ Fund is a Special Named Fund at CCLG raising money for research into T-cell lymphoma and leukaemia in memory of 18-year-old Ruby Fuller. To donate, click here.
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