Shock death of Burnley man Joshua (19)

Joshua Jordan Dunleavy. (s)
Joshua Jordan Dunleavy. (s)

A DEVASTATED Burnley mum has spoken of her despair and heartbreak following the death of her 19-year-old son.

Miss Elaine Radcliffe said she was still in shock over Joshua Jordan Dunleavy’s death on October 15th which came “completely out of the blue”.

Born premature, Joshua, of Middlesex Avenue, was left partially sighted, unable to speak and confined to a wheelchair his whole life but had shown no signs of being seriously ill before his death.

Despite a lifetime of operations, Miss Radclife said you would very rarely see Jordan without a smile on his face.

“He was always happy,” she said. “No matter what was going on he was always smiling. If you were ever feeling down or upset, all you would have to do is spend five minutes with Jordan and he’d make you feel better.

“It really came completely out of the blue. He had a tough year last year but he’d been absolutely fine this year. We’re still in shock. We can’t believe he’s gone.”

He attended Broadlands Special School in Blackburn before moving to White Ash School in Oswaldtwistle when he was five years old.

At the age of 18 he started going to Broadfield Special School and in September he started at Temple Street Resource Centre in Burnley.

“He always adapted quickly to any school or new situation he was put into,” she said. “The staff were wonderful at all his schools. They had a big impact on his life and he had a big impact on all there lives as well.”

Jordan’s funeral took place at St John the Baptist Church, Habergham, last week where a song by one of his favourite artists brought back happy memories for the family.

“He loved Nirvana,” said Miss Radcliffe. “We played ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ because that was one of his favourites. He loved music in general. Whenever we played something for him he would always giggle.

“He couldn’t speak but you knew that he liked it. He loved watching TV as well We bought him a big TV a bit ago for his room and he’d just sit there and watch it for hours. He loved football and the grand prix.”

She said Jordan also enjoyed going out and loved going on holiday with his family.

“We went to Haven a few times and had a lot of holidays all over England. We went abroad three times as well. He loved flying, the landing and the taking off.

“We went to Bendrigg in Cumbria as well not so long ago. It’s an activity centre for people with disabilities where you can do rock climbing and zip slides and things like that. He really enjoyed it. Despite not being able to talk or walk, he never let that stop him from doing fun things.

Miss Radcliffe added: “He was so courageous. Despite everything he had to go through in his life he was just always so happy.

Jordan also leaves behind his dad Martin, step mum Amanda, siblings Paula, Pamela, Edward, Keiley, Raychel, Nikki, Stephanie, grandma Cynthia and a nephew and nieces.