Tributes paid to ‘inspirational’ Lowestoft teenager
HEARTFELT tributes were paid this week to an 'inspirational' Lowestoft teenager who fought a life-long battle against cystic fibrosis.
Matthew Munro, 18, died at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on September 7 when his lungs became badly damaged after a chest infection developed into pneumonia.
His mother, Irene Munro, said he had dreamed of becoming a forensic scientist and had just fulfilled his target of getting a job, passing his driving test and buying a car.
She said: 'He is someone you cannot think about without a smile on your face.
'He was a Christian and it was his faith that kept him going all the time he was ill. But his illness never stopped him doing what he wanted to do.
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'He was loving, caring and cheerful and always put others before himself.'
Matthew came to Lowestoft in 1996, moving south from the Shetland Islands with his mother and his late father Ian Munro who was the superintendent at the town's Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fisherman.
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His illness set his education back at an early age and he attended special needs classes at Crowfoot Primary School in Beccles. But his determination saw him catch up with his fellow pupils and he was successful in his studies at both Beccles Middle School, and Sir John Leman High.
He had recently secured his first job at Pakefield High School as an apprentice science technician.
Steph Silvers, assistant headteacher at Sir John Leman High School, described Matthew as a 'conscientious student' with an 'infectious' personality. She said: 'Throughout his time here, Matthew was about so much more than just his academic studies.
'Despite being a dedicated and conscientious student who always strived to do his best, Matthew also found time to help other students and to take part in extra curricular and charity opportunities.
'His bubbly personality cheered everybody and his enthusiasm was infectious. Matthew was a true inspiration to all who had the privilege of knowing him and he shall be missed greatly.'
Matthew was also a talented bowls player and a member of Browston Hall Indoor Bowls Club. He also played a key role in the 10th North Suffolk Company of the Boys' Brigade, based at London Road Baptist Church in Lowestoft, where he took part in camps and activities, despite his illness.
Boy's brigade lieutenant Martin Rivett said: 'Matthew had an infectious giggle and once he got started the whole group was out of control.
'Although physical sports were not Matthew's thing, he tried hard and he was always very keen to take part in the activities arranged by the Boys' Brigade, including weekends away camping.'
In 2008, The Journal recognised Matthew's bravery in the face of cystic fibrosis by awarding him the Inspirational Child of the Year trophy in our Pride in the Community Awards.
A funeral was held at Gorleston crematorium on September 21 followed by a celebration of his life at London Road Baptist Church.
Donations in the Matthew's memory are being accepted at the Anglia Co-operative Funeral Services for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust charity. For more information about the charity visit www.cftrust.org.uk