Obituary: Family's heartbreak after death of 'beautiful boy' Henry, aged 18

Henry Hill, from Marsham, who has died of a rare form of cancer, aged just 18.

Henry Hill, from Marsham, who has died of a rare form of cancer, aged just 18. - Credit: Supplied by the family

He lived his life to the full and helped others whenever he could.

But that cannot ease the heartbreak the family of Henry Hill now have to live with.

Henry, 18 and from Marsham, has lost his battle with a rare form of cancer. 

Lisa Hill, his mother, said she and Henry's sister Olivia, 20, were still coming to terms with the loss of her “beautiful and handsome boy”. 

Henry Hill with his mum, Lisa, and sister, Olivia.

Henry Hill with his mum, Lisa, and sister, Olivia. - Credit: Supplied by the family

She said: “It has only been the three of us so we are missing a big part right now. Everybody has said he made such an impact.

"They remember his smile and sense of humour. It’s lovely to know so many people thought so much of him.”

Henry’s family moved up from Essex in 2009. 

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He attended Hainford Primary Partnership School, Aylsham High School - where he was a house captain - and then went on to study for his A-Levels at Paston College in North Walsham.

He worked part-time at Carberrys cafe in Wensum Street, Norwich, and he had signed up for a sign language course so he could better communicate with a group of deaf customers. 

Henry Hill was known as a kind and loving young man.

Henry Hill was known as a kind and loving young man. - Credit: Supplied by the family

Henry was working towards his Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s award, and Ms Hill said he planned to go on to university and volunteer at an orphanage in Morocco.

He was a Cub and a Scout, did water-skiing and played rugby for six years for Holt Rugby Football Club.

Ms Hill said Henry was born with a condition called hypermobility - a condition which can limit people’s range of motion.

“At one point they said he probably wouldn’t walk, and would struggle with day-to-day things,” Ms Hill said. “But he never let anything stand in his way. 

"He thought ‘this is what I’ve been dealt, how do I get around it? He was very determined.”

In July 2020 Henry was diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer called fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma which affects less than 20 people in the world per year. 

He was treated at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. 

Ms Hill said: “During lockdown he got really poorly, so I had to take him to A&E, and that’s when they found out he had the cancer.

“He didn’t really have any symptoms, which was bizarre”. 

"He embarked on some treatment which had not been used before and actually showed some signs of progress, and he was doing really well.

But last July he had a stroke, and at that point they had to stop treatment because it was unsafe, and by the time they could restart treatment, it had spread. 

“All the way through he always thought about others, and said ‘even if it doesn't work for me, it could work for others, so let’s do it’.”

Ms Hill said Henry was “very caring” and thought about others all the way through his treatment.

She said: “When people came onto the ward at the Teenage Cancer Trust he constantly wanted to make sure everybody was OK, taking time to talk to them and reassure them.”

A tribute published by the rugby club read: "He and his family have fought an extremely brave battle; our hearts go out to his family and friends at this saddest of times. With deepest condolences from all the players and members of Holt RFC.”

*An online fundraiser started during Henry's treatment will continue, with proceeds going towards his funeral costs. It can be found online at www.gofundme.com/f/henrys-cancer-battle