After gracing this Earth for seven short years, Tyrell Arendse was bid farewell by friends and family who attended his funeral.
When he was 3, Tyrell was diagnosed with Batten disease, a rare and fatal brain disorder that usually begins in early childhood.
Fifty bikers escorted Tyrell’s hearse to the Tabernacle of Praise Church, in Alexander Street, Parow, on Saturday August 26.
They flanked the church doorway, raising their helmets to salute Tyrell as his father, grandfather and other family members carried in his white coffin.
Tyrell died on Sunday August 20 after a four-year battle with Batten disease. The boy’s grandfather, Trevor Harker, described him as a “crackerjack child” before he fell ill.
“We have to celebrate Tyrell’s life now,” he said.
“He touched so many lives in the short life he had.”
Mr Harker also read Jade and Gino’s tribute to their son.
It was a heart-wrenching account of their painful journey with Tyrell, from the day he fell ill to the day he took his last breath.
They told how their child had had his first seizure one week after his brother, Tristan, had been born, and how pneumonia had plagued Tyrell’s tiny body regularly.
When Tyrell had turned 7 on Friday March 10, the family had had a big celebration “not knowing it would be his last birthday” with them.
On Friday August 4, he had fallen very ill and been fed morphine to ease the pain.
Jade and Gino also thanked Kiddz Buzz Educare in Summer Greens for taking good care of Tyrell while he had attended the school.
“The night before he died, he was struggling to breathe. The next day, he was turning blue.
“He took his last breath peacefully and was gone.”
Tyrell’s grandmother, Jo-Anne Arendse, took care of him around the clock and it was noted that her place was “empty and quiet” since his death.
“Even though he could not talk, he had a strong presence,” his parents said.
After the service, seven doves, symbolising Tyrell’s seven years on this earth were released.
Gino held one of the doves in his hand and set it free after saying, “Fly high, Tyrell, fly high.”
The birds made a spectacular dart for the sky before grouping together and disappearing into the blue.