WHEN he was born doctors gave car enthusiast Josh Marsh a 20 per cent chance of survival.
At 18-months-old he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and doctors told his parents that he would never walk or talk.
Not only could Josh talk – he’s described by his mum as someone who could talk the ear off a donkey – and although he was never able to walk he was able to swim, play on the PlayStation, and go horse riding.
Although he beat all the odds stacked up against him, sadly Josh, who was born 10 weeks premature at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, died last month at the age of 19.
Josh, who visited Disneyland and Universal Studios in Florida, was born with a pulmonary heart condition and needed two surgeries in the first 12 weeks of his life.
He was also diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 12 and it was a mixture of both these conditions that led to his unexpected death on Monday, May 19.
Hundreds attended Josh’s funeral on Friday, which was followed by a memorial at his school, St Rose’s in Stroud – where brightly coloured balloons were released.
“Unfortunately most of the balloons got stuck in a tree at the school,” said Josh’s mum Caroline Easthope, who lives in Nordown Road, Dursley, with her husband and Josh’s step-dad Rob Easthope.
“However I have had a lot of messages from people who have now started calling it the Joshua tree.”
Josh, who went to see his favourite show Top Gear live in Birmingham, attended St Rose’s School in Stratford Lawn from the age of two and during his time there was awarded sports personality of the year twice.
"I feel so lucky that Josh has been a part of that school. For 17 years everyone there has been absolutely brilliant," said Caroline, who has two other sons, Luke, 25, and Liam, 24, - both of whom were also born premature.
"Josh did more in his 19 years than most people do in their whole lives and he touched everyone he met which is why St James' Church in Dursley was completely full for his funeral."
Caroline and Rob are planting a garden in Josh's memory and welcome donations of brightly coloured flowers.