THE FAMILY of a “happy-go-lucky” three-year-old from Brynmawr have paid tribute to him ahead of his funeral.

Fynley Thomas had a series of complex needs, and died on Monday June 8.

His family will be holding a celebration of his life on Monday, where former The X-Factor contestant Russell Jones will perform his version of I Wanna Be Like You from The Jungle Book - one of Fynley’s favourite songs.


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South Wales Argus:

Fynley Thomas had a series of complex needs. Picture: Thomas family.

“He was a cheeky chappie,” said grandmother Maria Williams. “He was very quirky. He was different to any other child.

“I would call him a funny onion as he had so many layers.

“He wasn’t able to use his body much, but he loved listening to music. He was a big Disney fan. He had every Disney film and all the music.

“We were doing a fundraiser to take him to Disneyland. Russell had agreed to do a performance for it.

“We had booked to take him to Disneyland in April, but because of the lockdown, that was postponed until October. It’s such a shame.”

South Wales Argus:

Fynley Thomas being read to. Picture: Thomas family.

“He was always very content in himself. He was always so happy,” said Fynley’s mother Shannon Thomas.

“He needed a tracheotomy, he had epilepsy, was visually impaired, had chronic lung disease, and global developmental delay. He had to be fed through a tube.

“But even through all of this, he was so happy-go-lucky.”

The family would go on holiday to Ty Hafan Children’s Hospice, which provides palliative care for children with life-limiting conditions and their families.

“We’d go there twice a year,” said Ms Williams. “You had your time there to make memories with him.

South Wales Argus:

Fynley Thomas on holiday at Ty Hafan. Picture: Thomas family.

“It is so peaceful and beautiful there. We would sit outside and just listen to the birds.

“We loved the art room where we would make handprints.

“We knew he couldn’t have the quality of life we have, but we wanted him to have the best quality of life he possibly could. We didn’t have to do a lot; he was always happy.”

A small service will be held at home before Fynley’s funeral. His family said they wanted the service to be a celebration of his life.

“We didn’t want it to be morbid,” said Ms Williams.

South Wales Argus:

Maria Williams with her grandson Fynley. Picture: Thomas family.

“His casket has been wrapped in all his favourite Disney characters. The company wouldn’t even take payment for wrapping it. They’ve been amazing and we’d like to thank them.

“We’d like to say thank you to everyone who has helped with the funeral - the funeral director Jodie Fletcher and Jane Grayer, the life celebrant - they have made it so much more bearable.”

Ahead of the service, Ms Williams paid tribute to her grandson.

South Wales Argus:

Fynley Thomas. Picture: Thomas family.

“We’ve had three years but it feels like 30 years of memories,” she said. “Every day was magical.

“We knew we wouldn’t have long with him, but we wanted to make it memorable.”