“…by the time you read this, I will be in heaven.”
This was the opening to 7-year-old Marshall Clark’s final heartbreaking message to his family and friends. In September 2013, this bright beautiful boy with soft brown eyes from Plymouth, England was robbed of his childhood due to a rare genetic disorder in the nervous system that begins in early childhood, Late Infantile Batten Disease.
According to The Sun, within 18 months of the terminal diagnosis, Marshall lost everything. He lost his vision, ability to communicate, walk or feed himself. This illness may have took his physical freedom but it never stopped Marshall from living his life with a smile. His heart shined brighter than ever, showing his loved ones his pure soul and determination for life.
His Grandmother Elsie, a trained nurse, cared for her grandson at home. She described Marshall to the Daily Mail as a beautiful, brave little boy. Due to the uncontrollable seizures and tremors, he would involuntarily fall to the floor up to 40 times a day. As the disease took over every joyful aspect of his life, Elsie said Marshall never once cried, complained or gave up.
“When he lost the ability to walk, he learnt to crawl. When he struggled to feed himself using a knife and fork, he swapped his cutlery for two forks and would eat one mouthful at a time. And even when he was bed-bound, unable to move or talk, he continued to smile,” Elsie shared with the Daily Mail. “His determination and his happiness throughout it all has just amazed me.”
Marshall never stopped trying. Whatever cruel card the disease decided to deal him with, Marshall would accept it and continue to fight to live life to the best of his abilities. This October 29th, Marshall wrote in his last letter to his loved ones that he will be in heaven sliding down “loads of slides,” eating strawberries and cupcakes, running around and watching his favorite videos. He writes, “Be happy for me that I am no longer trapped in a body that stopped me from enjoying my childhood. I am now free to do all the things I have missed so very much.”
Here is Marshall’s full message posted on his Grandmother’s Facebook:
They say the big man upstairs only takes the best ones to heaven. This beautiful and brave little boy Marshall Clark leaves remnants of his soul through his inspiring story. He reminds the world to accept the things we cannot change and to never give up. We must continue to smile through the struggle because things will get better. It can’t rain forever.