A much-loved young dad has tragically lost his battle with an extremely rare brain cancer at the age of 29.

Paul Cowie, from Kirkby , died on November 26, just hours after being admitted back into Whiston Hospital.

The 29-year-old leaves behind his wife Carla and his eight month old son Carter, who was born just a month after Paul received the devastating news that his extremely rare brain cancer had returned - and this time it was terminal.

To support the family through Paul's tragic death and the cost of the funeral, which comes just weeks before Christmas, friend John Drury has set up a fundraising page.

Paul Cowie, 28, leaves behind his wife Carla and 8-month-old son Carter

John Drury, 39, said: "I'm gutted for his family. I used to play football with Paul in Kirkby about ten years ago now, that's how we became friends.

"We knew it was terminal but no one envisaged that it would be anytime soon.

"He lost mobility in his legs in the last couple of months so he was confined to his bed but he was still his cheery self, talking about the football.

"He was made up about Liverpool when they were at the top of the league. It never phased him, he just got on with it."

John added: "I set up the page to raise money for the funeral costs and for his wife and son. It's hard enough as it is without it being Christmas as well."

Paul was first diagnosed first diagnosed with medullablastoma, a  cancer usually only found in children  , in January 2018.

He had to learn to walk, talk and eat again after an 11-hour operation to remove tumours in his brain.

But after months of gruelling treatment Paul, from  Kirkby , was given the all clear in November 2018.

Sadly his happiness was short-lived as in January this year, a month before the birth of his son, Paul was given the devastating news his cancer had returned in what doctors said was a "one in a billion chance".

Paul Cowie, from Kirkby has lost his battle with a rare type of brain cancer at the age of 29

Speaking to the ECHO earlier this year in April, Paul said: "Last year in January I had headaches and ended up in hospital  and they scanned me and later that night, into the early hours of the morning, they said I had cysts or lesions on my brain.

"When I went back for my operation, I was on the table and they operated on me and found another tumour behind the original."

He and his partner Carla had been trying for a baby for four years.

Paul Cowie, from Kirkby has lost his battle with a rare type of brain cancer at the age of 29

And just a month after Paul was taken out of an induced coma following surgery they discovered she was pregnant - on their fifth round of IVF.

As the couple prepared to welcome their 'miracle' baby Paul began to feel unwell again and they were given the worst news imaginable - his cancer was back and it was terminal.

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Paul told the ECHO in April: "I started getting pains and coughing in January, I felt like one of my ribs had cracked.

"They rescanned me to see what was up and the cancer had come down the shunt in my brain and into my ribs and they told me it's incurable."

Also speaking to the ECHO at the time, wife Carla, said: "It [medullablastoma] is usually confined to the the brain and spine only and it's never travelled in anyone else but it was back.

"They don't know how it's travelled, possibly it's been through the drain [the shunt in his brain] or an unlucky case."

Just a month after Paul's cancer was re-diagnosed the couple welcomed their baby boy, Carter. 

Carla said: "I was absolutely devastated. We sat in a room, the consultant came in and they said 'Paul, we have a problem'. We were all crying, it was devastating but we had to be strong for his baby boy."

She added: "It's a lot to deal with all at once. IVF had failed four times before, Carter is a little miracle."

The couple who booked their wedding on the same day they registered their son's birth to make sure it happened, got married in August this year.

In a message on the Go Fund Me Page set up by friend John, to raise money for funeral costs and to support wife Carla and baby Carter, John said: "I’m raising funds to help with the funeral costs of laying our friend Paul Cowie to rest.

"Yesterday was an heartbreaking day for everyone who had the privilege to have known Paul in one way or another.

"In the early hours of the morning Paul lost his fight with cancer, he had battled it head on for 2 years and always with a brave face.

"In that time Paul had become a dad to baby Carter and married his wonderful partner Carla, both of whom he thought the world of.

"Paul also leaves behind a mum a dad, a brother and a loving family and a big circle of friends and will be sadly missed by everyone.

"So no matter how little or how much we raise at this time of year, it’s financially hard for everyone and every penny will help. Thank you in advance."

Paul's funeral was held at St Chads Church in Kirkby on December 6.

The fundraising page set up to raise money towards the funeral costs, will also be used to support Paul's family at this difficult time.

To donate to the Go Fund Me Page click here.