Little Bailey Massey would roll with laughter whenever he watched his favourite cartoon characters on television as he battled a rare liver disease.
The fair-haired nine-month-old loved Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Fireman Sam, Bob the Builder along with Donald and Daisy Duck. And when he died after three transplants failed his family decided to pay tribute to him by dressing as his favourite cartoon characters to escort his funeral cortege to the local church.
His grandfather, 45-year-old concrete worker Ian Taylor, wearing a Mickey Mouse costume, walked behind the chief mourner, while his great uncles, 33-year-old Michael Duggan (Bob the Builder) and Sean Duggan,37 (Fireman Sam) along with family friends, 44-year-old Jeanette Otterwell (Donald Duck) and 43-year-old Marie Chamberlain (Daisy Duck) flanked Bailey’s hearse.
Walking behind was Ian’s nephew 23-year-old Ross Taylor, dressed as Minnie Mouse, followed by dozens of mourners in Bolton-on-Dearne, near Rotherham.
Ian carried Bailey’s wicker coffin before the tot was buried in the village cemetery.
Bailey was diagnosed with biliary artresia, caused by bile ducts in the liver not functioning, when he was seven weeks old and after several weeks in hospital and surgery his parents Simon and Lindsay Massey were told he needed a liver transplant.
Simon, a 27-year-old painter and decorator, was told his liver matched his son’s and the pair underwent surgery at Leeds General Infirmary on December 20th, but it was unsuccessful. Bailey had a second transplant on Boxing Day which failed due to blood complications.
A third donor liver became available in the South and it was rushed to Leeds by air ambulance but Bailey died during surgery.
Mother Lindsay, 24, said: “We wanted to so something special and I thought it would be lovely if Bailey was surrounded by his favourite characters on his way to church.”