Legacy of Linlithgow’s PJ will live on through giving

editorial image

A young Linlithgow lad, who sadly passed away due to a rare medical condition, is being honoured by a fund being held by a hospital in his name.

Paul James Cockburn – who was universally known as PJ– was just 12-years-old when he tragically died as a result of his condition, Short Bowel Syndrome.

That illness had meant that PJ of Stewart Avenue, was forced to undergo a liver transplant when he was just 11-months -old at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Further treatment followed over the years at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

Despite steadily improving and managing his condition throughout his young life, the Linlithgow Primary pupil’s health started to take a downward spiral in early 2017.

PJ was waiting for a quadruple transplant when mother and father Jill and Paul were given the news that no parents want to hear.

They were told that nothing more could be done for their son and PJ passed away last June.

Now his family have set up the PJ Foundation, which will raise funds for the Edinburgh Children’s Charity Hospital. It provides vital support for the hospital and a number of other locations where children are treated, including St John’s Hospital.

PJ’s aunt Elaine Campbell said: “PJ spent so much time in hospital and he used to like the activities and games that ECHC provided.

“He loved nothing more than playing the PlayStation with his friends so the aim is to raise money for entertainment like TVs and games consoles but also to fund research for pioneering treatments.

“So far we’ve managed to raise around £6000 and we’re selling items such as pens, badges and teddies on the Facebook page with the PJ logo and hope to have a website very soon.

“PJ underwent some new treatment techniques so if we can raise money to help develop these and prevent another child going through what he did, then we’ll be so proud.”

Sue Diamond, who is Community Fundraising Manager at ECHC, said: “The PJ Foundation is such an amazing initiative and a really fitting way to celebrate the life of a very special little boy.

“PJ had a smile that could light up a room and I know with the community’s fundraising led by his incredible family and friends, his memory is helping to put a smile on so many more children’s faces.

“We cannot thank the family enough for their amazing support and the fantastic money they have raised so far.”

To donate to the fund see https://www.facebook.com/PJFoundation1310.