THE BEREAVED family of a Chippenham and Trowbridge man, who showed great resilience and joy despite having to overcome many challenges, have shared an emotional obituary.

Charles McCarthy “Charlie” had a difficult start to life, being brain damaged at birth due to oxygen deprivation and forceps delivery injury. And that was followed by a bad reaction to the whooping cough injection, resulting in further damage.

Charlie’s parents were Elsie, who worked in service and then Nestles Chippenham during the war years, and Jeremiah who joined the RAF having left the Irish Army guarding Valentia Island communications centre. They were told by doctors that Charlie would never walk and he had metal calipers fitted to his legs.

Charlie’s zest for life and determination to get on and make the most of things was apparent early on. He eventually managed to walk and it became a passion of his. 

Although he had a disability with his walking, he just shook that off and would love to walk for miles, often wearing out the rest of is family or his carers.

Charlie had further struggles in life and was badly failed by the ‘system’ at different times, however Charlie’s resilience shone through - his smile light up the room and garnered many friends from carers to everyday contacts.

"What an example to all of us to make the most of life!" his family says.

Charlie had no speech since he was a toddler, however he found a way to communicate his fun and humour, with an infectious laugh even, especially where he seemed to be playing a trick.

Charlie loved the outside, kicking a football, and absolutely scared his family rigid when swinging very high on a swing.

Since he was a child into adulthood and absolutely loved holidays with Adrian and other carers especially at amusement parks and the big mega rides, coming off laughing his head off.

In the last year Charlie had stage 4 cancer, but again ploughed on with treatment and recovered his overall health very well, unfortunately he succumbed to Covid in the end whilst attending the RUH for treatment.

Charlie will be sadly missed by his family, friends and carers.

The family wishes to say a big thank you to all who have loved and cared for Charlie over the years and especially the Oncology Unit at the BRI who fought for him.

Thanks also goes to the RUH for trying to save him whilst the odds were stacked against him.

Charlie died on November 7 aged 58, after living in Trowbridge at Lavender House for the last two years.

His funeral will be held on Wednesday at St Marys RC Church in Chippenham, which Charlie attended as a child.