Devastated Portsmouth mother pays tribute to Chris Cole, the son who made her the 'proudest woman on earth'
A HEARTBROKEN mother has called upon the people of Portsmouth to line the streets for her beloved son’s funeral.
Chris Cole, 30 from Portsmouth, died on February 12 after more than 170 operations on Hirschsprung’s disease, a rare form of bowel disease.
He wasn’t expected to live more than a few months – but Chris defied the odds to bravely soldier on no matter what he faced in life.
Mum Sylvia has paid an emotional tribute to a son who made her the ‘proudest woman on earth’.
She said: ‘I have been told 25 times before that he was going to die, so it’s all quite surreal at the moment.
‘Since he was a baby we’ve been in and out of hospital. I couldn’t possibly count how many times we’ve been up to QA.
‘Chris was an absolute trooper, and so brave to keep on going. He made me the proudest woman on earth – even the doctors couldn’t believe how strong he was.’
Chris underwent 174 operations, and also survived sepsis 56 times, had double pneumonia twice and his mother gave him CPR on 12 occasions.
His loss is a big one for the family, particularly Sylvia, with whom Chris had a very close bond.
She said: ‘Every morning I’m waking up thinking about calling QA to find out how he is.
‘During the pandemic I gave up work to shield with him – being together as a family was the most important thing for us.
‘I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do without him.’
Chris’ funeral will be held at a private ceremony on March 16 – but Sylvia knows many people in the city will want to say their goodbyes to her son.
They are being encouraged to go to St Mary’s Road in Fratton at 10am on that day, so that they can say a final farewell together.
With the family unable to get life insurance for Chris, a GoFundMe has been set up following his death, and this has already raised more than £2,700 for the family.
‘We are so thankful to everyone in Portsmouth who has shown their generosity, it’s really overwhelming,’ said Sylvia.
‘I also want to thank everyone at Queen Alexandra Hospital, especially the staff in the C5 and E3 wards, and his godmother Janine Coles who was with him so many times in theatre.
‘There are so many people who went above and beyond for him. Debbie Keaton; Terry, his IV nurse; Duncan, his palliative care assistant; Cathy Rutter; Mr Gudgen; Mrs Sergious; the consultant he had at the end and everyone on reception and security at QA.
‘It would be so great to have people in the streets to say goodbye to Chris – he planned everything for his funeral and would have loved to see people turn out for him.’
Further donations can also be made to Frimley Park Hospital or Transplant UK.
Alongside Sylvia, Chris leaves behind his father Dave, step-dad Kev, step-mum Emma, and siblings Benji, Josie, Sebastian, Thomas, Anthony, Logan, Chloe and Alfie, and nephew Cameron.