Catastrophe screenwriter and actor Rob Delaney today shared the tragic news that his two-year-old son Henry has died, after a battle with cancer.
The toddler underwent surgery to remove a tumour and spent 15 months in hospital for further treatment. However, the cancer returned in the autumn. Henry died last month.
In a heartbreaking tribute posted on Facebook on Friday (9 February), Delaney described Henry's 'drive to live and love" as he recalled the happiness they shared as a family.
"Henry was a joy," wrote Delaney. "He was smart, funny, and mischievous and we had so many wonderful adventures together, particularly after he'd moved home following fifteen months living in hospitals."
The US actor said that even after undergoing brain surgery, that left his son with 'significant physical disabilities' Henry remained determined to "connect" with his parents and siblings.
"He quickly learned sign language and developed his own method of getting from A to B shuffling on his beautiful little bum," said Delaney. "His drive to live and to love and to connect was profound."
In the face of such incomparable personal loss and heartbreak, the British-based American actor said he is determined to hold himself together for the sake of Henry's two brothers, aged six and five.
"I am astonished by the love-in-action displayed by Henry's mom and his brothers. They are why I will endeavor to not go mad with grief," he said. "I don't want to miss out on their beautiful lives. I'm greedy for more experiences with them.
He also paid tribute to the medical team who supported the family through Henry's illness.
"The NHS nurses and doctors and the home carers and charity workers who helped our family survive Henry's illness will be my heroes until the day I die," he said. "I am desperately sad right now, but I can say with authority that there is good in this world."
Appealing for donations to the charities who had also been a source of great support, he added: "If you'd like to help other families in the UK with very sick children, please make a donation to Rainbow Trust (https://rainbowtrust.org.uk) or Noah's Ark (https://www.noahsarkhospice.org.uk) in Henry's name or in the name of someone you love."
He explained: "Our family would be in much worse shape right now if it weren't for them. I would also urge you to take concrete and sustained action to support the NHS, however you can. Do not take it for granted."
He ended his moving tribute with a message to his son writing:. "Thank you, beautiful Henry, for spending as much time with us as you did. We miss you so much."
Fans and friends of Delaney have been sending messages of condolence and sympathy to the actor and his family.