Parys Lapper, who appeared on Child of Our Time, died suddenly in August aged just 19 from a suspected accidental drug overdose, leaving his mum Alison Lapper heartbroken. The artist – who famously posed for Marc Quinn's Trafalgar Square statue when she was eight months pregnant – has since spoken out about the bullying her son endured as a result of her disability. Alison was born with the condition phocomelia, meaning she has no arms and shortened legs, and bullies would taunt Parys about it. Talking to the Sunday Times, Alison revealed that Parys had asked her to stop coming to parents' evening when he was 13. "We were the show. The next day Parys would go in and they would rip pieces out of him," she said.
Alison Lapper revealed her son Parys was bullied because of her disability
Alison added that Parys went on a downward spiral after struggling to cope with the bullying, and despite moving to a smaller school, he later dropped out. The doting mum revealed that Parys also struggled with body image after spending a lot of time on social media. "Parys didn't like his body. I thought I could teach him to, but it's a social media nightmare, isn't it? There's always someone with a six-pack or bigger." Despite her best efforts, Parys became more introverted and started to take drugs, which forced Alison to have him taken into care. The artist kept in regular touch with her son, and said that she had spoken to him just days before his death, where he sounded in good spirits. "I don't want my son to be remembered as a junkie, as just another drugs death. The drugs were a consequence of what he had been through," she said.
Alison paid tribute to her son on Instagram with a series of photos
Parys' death was announced by Alison's fiancé Si Clift, and he was laid to rest last week. "Mums like me shouldn't be burying 19-year-old kids, should we? He's supposed to be burying me," Alison said. Following Parys' funeral, Alison wrote an open letter to her son which was shared by journalist Grant Tucker. In the emotional message, Alison spoke of her heartbreak that Parys wouldn't be at her wedding. She wrote: "You will be with us on our wedding day, my diamond boy. My heart feels shattered, my pain is unbearable knowing I won't see your beautiful handsome face again, I miss you so much already." Alison ended the letter by writing: "Thank you for being my son, I wouldn't have missed it for the world. It was a privilege to be your mother."
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