Family and friends pay tribute to Sprowston teenager Matthew Berry
06:30 06 July 2012
The family of a teenager who died of a brain haemorrhage have described their shock at the loss of their “kind and loving” boy and revealed how his donated organs have helped five other people.
Friends and family of 17-year-old Matthew Berry, from Sprowston paid tribute to the teenager and said they were still expecting him to walk through the door and give them a hug.
His mother, Lynn, 50, of Blithewood Gardens, said: “Everyone is totally devastated. It was all so sudden.
“We’re still in complete shock. It is our worst nightmare.
“We’re expecting him to come through the door.
“He had a short life, but he lived it to the full.”
Matthew, known as Matty, was a former Sprowston High pupil and died on June 22 in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, a day after he collapsed at home complaining of a headache.
Mrs Berry, a carer, said: “He was with a friend and got up to get some tablets for his headache.
“The friend took him outside to get some air and then he dialled 999.”
He was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at 3.30pm and then transferred to Addenbrooke’s, by the same paramedics who had rushed to his Sprowston home.
But doctors could not save him.
They believe he had a weak blood vessel which caused the haemorrhage.
The talented footballer and artist was an organ donor and has helped save lives since his death.
Mrs Berry said: “He was very kind and loving.
“He was so loved by everybody.
“He didn’t do anything wrong to anyone.
“There was always a smile on his face.”
His father Andrew, 52, said: “You could always have a laugh with him.
“His company was enough.
“He loved his drawing and painting. He was very creative.”
The right midfielder played who for Sprowston Lads FC had just completed a plastering course at ATT in Rackheath and wanted to work in construction.
His grandfather Derek, 73, said: “We all completely miss him. We miss his smile as he walks in.”
Grandmother Janet, 74, said: “We’ll miss the hugs we used to get from him.
“He’d always say, ‘I love you nan and granddad.’
“He was such a quietly spoken boy
“He cared about everybody.
“I couldn’t have wished for a better grandson.
“I don’t know what we’ll do without him.”
His brother James and friends, Rhys Edwards, 17, and Josh Lemmon, 17, described Matty as a “joker” who loved a party and was well-liked at school.
His family thanked their friends for all the support in the two weeks since Matty’s death.
The table in their living room is lined with flowers and cards filled with messages of support.
His cousin and god-mother Lindsay Pegg said: “The support from family and friends has been fantastic.”
Mrs Berry said: “We couldn’t have got through this short time without them.
“They have all been fantastic and they have done so much for us.”
Drivers at A2B Taxis where his father works have also had a collection for the family.
•Matty’s funeral will take place at St Faith’s Crematorium on July 12.
His family are asking for donations to be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation which helps children fighting life-threatening conditions.
•To find out more about becoming an organ donor visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk.
Do you wish to pay tribute to a friend or loved one? Call reporter Tom Bristow on 01603 772313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org