'Hero baby' Sonny dies of rare cancer

Corey and Aneka Davis, on the one and only time they got to hold their baby, Sonny, before he passed away.
Corey and Aneka Davis, on the one and only time they got to hold their baby, Sonny, before he passed away. Photo: Supplied

Sonny Davis, the tiny Townsville boy whose inspiring battle for life earned him the label "hero baby", has passed away at just 18 days old.

Sonny's parents, Corey and Aneka Davis, made the heartbreaking decision to let their son go on Saturday after his battle against the rare childhood cancer neuroblastoma finally became insurmountable.

Despite continually defying the expectations of doctors at Brisbane's Royal Children's Hospital by clinging to life, infection and irrevocable damage to Sonny's tiny liver and kidneys prompted Mr Davis and his wife to make the decision the young father said no parent should ever face.

"We told him it was okay to stop fighting," Mr Davis said.

"The infection set in and they couldn't stem the flow.

"Even if we could save him from that, his kidneys his liver were too far gone.

"There was too many battles for him to win, even if he did, he would spend his whole childhood in hospital.

"So we made the decision on Saturday afternoon."

Sonny's condition deteriorated late last week after he appeared to be emerging from his critically ill condition.

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The youngster impressed doctors at the RCH by continually winning battles they expected to claim his life.

He survived premature birth after being diagnosed in utero.

Before he was a week old he had survived intensive chemotherapy to shrink a 6cm stomach tumour and dialysis for kidney failure to ensure he could excrete cytotoxic by-products.

Sonny's condition had improved enough by two weeks for his parents and grandparents to finally have one precious cuddle with their baby.

It would be the first and last time they held him.

When infection set in, doctors advised the couple that by allowing him to keep fighting, they may simply be delaying the inevitable.

They spent Friday night sleeping by his bedside and stopped his treatment on Saturday afternoon.

Sonny finally succumbed to his illness at 5.30pm.

Despite his brief time in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit Sonny left an indelible mark on medical staff.

"There was a lot of nurses crying in there on Saturday. I guess they all became quite attached to him," Mr Davis said.

Mr and Mrs Davis plan to make the heartbreaking journey to Townsville without their boy on Monday afternoon.

On Friday, the couple, their 21-month-old daughter Frankie and the hundreds of people who have been inspired by the youngster's battle will say goodbye to the little fighter.

"I'm very proud of the way he fought. I told him that's what we do - we're north Queenslanders and we fight," Mr Davis said.

Just 40 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma each year in Australia.

There are no known reasons as to why it occurs.

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