An 11-year-old boy who died from a rare illness told his parents he was ‘ready to go to heaven’.
Luca Pucella’s heartbreaking words were read out at his funeral service in Bridgend on Wednesday.
He had been diagnosed with ROHHAD syndrome after rapidly putting on weight when he was two.
ROHHAD stands for rapid-onset obesity with hypothalmic dysfunction, hypoventilation and autonomic dysregulation. The condition only affects 75 people in the world.
Luca died last month after suffering a seizure.
Luca Pucella, who died from a rare illness, told his parents he was ‘ready to go to heaven’
Luca, pictured with his sister Sofia and parents Beth and Angelo, who died last month
In a tribute, which was read out by the Reverend Mike Komor before a packed St Mary’s Church in Coity, Luca’s mother Beth and father Angelo said: ‘As many of you know, Luca was raised in the Christian faith, attending this very church.
‘He had a strong faith and had expressed on several occasions this past few months that he wanted, and was indeed ready, to go to Heaven.
‘It gives us great comfort to know that Luca is now free of trauma and uncertainty and is at peace.
‘It is the duty of all of us to allow him to live on in our hearts and minds and more importantly in our good deeds.’
Luca’s organs were donated and saved three lives, including a child.
Hundreds of mourners, including Luca’s friends and health professionals that treated him, turned out to pay their respects to the popular schoolboy.
Rev Komor described Luca as having a ‘tremendous zest for life, a determined will and a mischievous sense of humour.’
South Wales Police escorted Luca’s rainbow-covered coffin to the church, where representatives of charities also came to pay their respects
In a tribute to their son Beth and Angelo recalled how – despite his diagnosis when he was two – they vowed not to let his condition rule his life.
Reading out their touching words Rev Komor said: ‘We had so much fun and you were the best of big brothers to Sofia. We learned to share you with many other people – carers, nurses, doctors, teachers to name a few. They all became part of ‘Luca’s extended family’.
‘Always the centre of attention, you filled every occasion and we are all left with countless happy memories. You had so much love to share, Luca.
‘We always told you that you were special and your love certainly shone out of your every pore and was expressed in so many ways, from your love of hugging everyone, stroking every single dog that we passed, and stopping to talk to every homeless person – you truly were a ‘Good Samaritan’.
‘Aside from wanting to help others right up to the very end, Luca lived life as it should be lived – he seized every single opportunity that life presented with both hands and squeezed every drop out of it. He wanted to meet everyone and experience everything.
‘Life is a gift – please honour Luca’s memory and enjoy every moment as Luca did.’
Luca had been diagnosed with ROHHAD syndrome after rapidly putting on weight when he was two