Heartbroken mum pays tribute to son, 22, after his unexpected death

Charlie O'Connor.

Charlie O'Connor.

Archant

A devastated mum has paid tribute to her ‘caring’ young son after he unexpectedly died in his sleep.

Stephanie O'Connor and Charlie O'Connor. Stephanie O'Connor and Charlie O'Connor.

Charlie’s mum Stephanie O’Connor, 54, of Welwyn Garden City, went into the 22-year-old’s room to wake him up but discovered that he had died on July 30.

The former Stanborough School pupil was cremated on August 15 at Harwood Park, in Knebworth, and his friends and family wore bright colours to remember his life.

Stephanie said: “Charlie was a warm, funny, loving young man that could light up a room with his smile.

“I am and always will be proud to call him my son.

Miles Roberts and Charlie O'Connor. Miles Roberts and Charlie O'Connor.

“So when the tears stop flowing, I’ll think of the best moments I spent with Charlie and I’ll remember him with a smile, a laugh and always with happiness.”

Stephanie added: “He was always slightly clumsy and hugely apologetic when there was a trip, spill or breakage, but that was all a part of Charlie and I loved him regardless of how many cups or wall clocks I lost along the way.

“I loved the fact I had to go on tiptoe to kiss him and I will miss his giant hugs.”

Charlie was career focused and had been working as a phlebotomist at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London for the last year.

The former Watchlytes Primary School pupil studied health and social care at Oakland’s College and then got a job at Hyde Valley House care home in Welwyn Garden City.

He also worked at the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welwyn.

Charlie’s boyfriend of more than five years, Miles Roberts, 31, said: “Charlie and I met in an abandoned hospital that was slowly being surrounded by armed police. Now if that’s not the start of a good story, I don’t know what is.

“I had the pleasure of watching him grow into the kind, beautiful person that touched so many and we had a lot of adventures along the way from teaching him how to process film in the kitchen to jumping across the rooftops of abandoned buildings.

“He was simply the other half of me, a part of me.

“The last messages we shared were of love and wishing a good night’s sleep.”

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