The son of Alison Lapper, the disabled artist who posed for Trafalgar Square's famous fourth plint sculpture in 2005, has died suddenly. The sad news about 19-year-old Parys Lapper was confirmed by the young man's soon-to-be stepfather, Si Clift. Si, who is Alison's fiancé, confirmed to the Daily Mail that Parys had passed away, telling the paper: "Tragically, Parys Lapper, who was only 19 years old, died suddenly a week ago." BBC viewers will remember Parys from the critically-acclaimed documentary Child of Our Time, which was presented by Professor Robert Winston.
Si elaborated on the tragic circumstances further in a statement on Facebook, writing: "Ali fought many battles against the establishment to keep Parys, bringing him up by herself in some very difficult circumstances indeed and continued to fight for him through his teenage years. Ali has expressed a dear wish that she would absolutely love to see as many noisy motorbikes as possible to escort Parys on his final journey from her home in Shoreham by sea to Worthing Crematorium on Thursday 29th to celebrate his life (he would have loved this too)."
Alison and Parys in 2005
Alison Lapper, who was born with shortened legs and no arms, has yet to comment publicly but tributes have been flooding Twitter in the wake of the news. One Twitter user wrote: "My heart breaks for Alison Lapper at the news of Parys' death - a woman who'd never allowed herself to believe she'd be a mother, only to go on to be an extraordinary one." Another added: "This is so sad. Alison & Parys first came onto my radar with Robert Winston's excellent series Child of Our Time. Alison fought so hard to prevent Parys being taken from her and put in care. RIP."
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Trafalgar Square's famous sculpture of Alice by artist Marc Quinn
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Our thoughts are with Parys' family at this incredibly tough time.
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