Tributes to tragic Valentine's victim

PARENTS of a young man who dedicated the last years of his life to helping others have today spoken of their pride and love for their son.

PARENTS of a young man who dedicated the last years of his life to helping others have today spoken of their pride and love for their son.

Alex Ling, 26, died on Valentine's Day after experiencing breathing problems.

Alex was diagnosed with Facio Scapulo Humeral (FSH) muscular dystrophy when he was six and spent the last years of his life supporting others with the condition through a website he created with a friend.

The site, known as FSH-United, took up much of his time and a special section has been created there for friends to pay tribute to Alex.

Speaking from the family home in Playford Road, Ipswich, Alex's mum Stephanie and dad Philip spoke of their son's will to “push himself”.

Mr Ling, a graphic designer, said: “He was happy and he made the most of his short life. He packed so much into it.

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“He spent most of his time on the website. He seems to have been a fountain of information about what he had to quite a few people and I think he knew quite a lot more about it than the non-specialist doctors.

“He would talk to me about the website because it's what I do for a living. It is quite complicated what he has done, there are forums and that kind of stuff.”

Alex, who had a brother Brendan, 19, and sister Rebecca, 21, attended St Albans High School and Northgate Sixth Form before furthering his education at South Bank University in London.

He studied town planning there but left after the second year because his condition had deteriorated.

For the last three years of his life he could not write but used an on-screen keyboard to work on the computer, there he created a huge network of friends, many of them have written to his parents to pass on their condolences.

Mrs Ling, 49, said Alex's hobbies included radio controlled gliders, stamp collecting, films and books but his main interest was people.

He also loved football and he was a season ticket holder at Ipswich Town, listening to away games on the radio at home.

Mr Ling, 52, said: “You knew if Ipswich scored because his wheelchair would come hurtling down the corridor.”

Friends from the website have sent a floral tribute of the Ipswich Town crest for his funeral next week.

n Alex's funeral will be held at 10am on Wednesday at St Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich.

Alex will then be buried at Greenwood Burial Site in Farnham.

The family have requested family flowers only at the funeral but donations can be sent to the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, care off Farthing, Singleton and Hastings, 650 Woodbridge Road, Ipswich IP4 4PW.

Do you want to pay tribute to Alex? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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