Mother of tragic boy who died in Barbados prepares to bring him home

‘Let’s get you home my darling’: Devastated mother of British boy Ace Rewtastle, 8, who fell ill with leukaemia and died days later during New Year family holiday to Barbados prepares to bring his body home

  • Ace, eight, suffered a seizure and was diagnosed with leukaemia in Barbados
  • He was tragically declared brain dead with no chance of survival by doctors
  • His parents wanted to take him off life support to ‘let him rest’ peacefully 
  • But local laws ban turning off life support if a person has a recordable heartbeat 
  • Little Ace will be remembered for his ‘cheeky’ personality: ‘He was so loved’ 

A devastated mother whose eight-year-old son died during a family holiday in Barbados has vowed to bring his body home to the UK.

Ace Rewtastle fell ill days into the getaway and was diagnosed with leukaemia in a local hospital. After suffering a brain bleed and a seizure last Sunday, he failed to regain consciousness and was tragically deemed brain dead.

His family’s heartache was only exacerbated when authorities informed them his life support machine – the only thing keeping his body alive – could not be turned off due to local laws, despite there being zero chance of recovery.

On Sunday, his mother Amber announced ‘nature took its course’ and Ace had died.

Now, the family will turn their attention to bringing him home and giving him the send off he deserves.

Ace, 8, pictured with his mother Amber, 30, before he fell dangerously ill on a trip to Barbados

Little Ace was sitting up in his hospital bed, FaceTiming friends and playing card games with his parents until January 8, when his condition had rapidly deteriorated

She said: ‘Let’s get you home my darling baby.’

‘I will love and remember you until my last breath… There is no footprint too small to leave an imprint in this world.’

A GoFundMe page set up to support his family when Ace fell sick has gathered more than £115,000. 

Ace was no different to any other healthy little boy when he arrived in Barbados for a family trip from Portsmouth last week with his mother.

But last Tuesday he began feeling ill and was rushed to hospital, where a series of scans revealed he was suffering from acute myeloid leukaemia – before seriously deteriorating after a massive bleed on his brain.

Little Ace was sitting up in his hospital bed, FaceTiming friends and playing card games with his parents until January 8, when his condition rapidly deteriorated. 

Within minutes of coming down with a headache, Ace suffered a catastrophic seizure. He has never regained consciousness.

His devastated family were battling with the government in Barbados for the right to turn his life support off.

Ace’s passing was anounced by his mother on social media on Saturday afternoon

Local councillor for Paulsgrove George Madgwick has been supporting Ace’s family over the last 24 hours, and has said the Foreign Office are now directly involved in his case.

Mr Madgwick added he had also contacted the Prime Minister of Barbados. 

Local law stipulates that if there’s a heartbeat, the life support machine cannot be turned off.

But Ace’s family say policymakers were just delaying the inevitable and dragging out their grieving process. 

His aunt, Emma Wearn, spoke to MailOnline from Barbados about the cruelty of the situation.

‘The only way I can describe it is a living nightmare,’ she said on Friday night, trying to keep her composure for the sake of Ace’s mother. 

‘It’s hard to speak about it all without crying, it’s been such a horrendous time.’

Ace’s family say policymakers are now just delaying the inevitable and dragging out their grieving process

About 15 of Ace’s closest relatives flew to Barbados when his mother was told there was no chance he would recover.

Previously, they had been told it could be weeks until Ace passed away.

‘His heartbeat is still strong, because he has a healthy heart and the machine. But all that it means is that it will take longer to pass on his own,’ his aunt explained.

‘We want them to let him rest.’

On Sunday Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth will be lit up in blue as a tribute to the eight-year-old. 

Ace was football mad, and also loved MMA and video games, his aunt, Emma Wearn, told MailOnline

Ace was no different to any other healthy little boy when he arrived in Barbados for a family trip from Portsmouth

His grieving mother had been told her only chance at arguing her son’s case was to appear in court, Ms Wearn said. The earliest they could get a hearing is next Wednesday, but that will no longer be necessary.

She and his father, David, had together decided to turn off his life support on Thursday. 

‘Doctors have said it would be sensible to get a lawyer,’ a relative told MailOnline. 

The family said doctors in both the UK and Barbados expressed their sympathies and had said their medical opinion would be to turn the life support off as soon as the family was ready. But they were ‘overruled’ by the legislation.

Ms Wearn earlier said: ‘We can’t understand how, if you’re brain dead, why they’d keep him alive for no reason. His body could catch infections.’

His family spent days praying for a miracle, despite doctors warning them very early on that it was likely leukaemia

Local law stipulates that if there’s a heartbeat, the life support machine cannot be turned off

Ace’s uncle Joey said Amber has been left ‘devastated’ by the death of her only child.

He told The Sun: ‘We just want to bring him home. I was so close to Ace. He’s like a son to me. He was a loving, caring, cheeky little boy.’

The legal loopholes have been described as cruel and evil, and unfair on both Ace and his family.

When he initially fell ill, his family put it down to the heat, but by Tuesday evening a blood rash had started spreading through his body. 

He was rushed to the children’s ward where tests revealed he had seriously low white cells, red cells and platelets.

His family spent days praying for a miracle, despite doctors warning them very early on that it was likely leukaemia. They desperately donated platelets, hoping it would boost his chances of improving.

But after the seizure, his family learned he was ‘not showing any brain activity at all’. 

Little Ace will be remembered by loved ones for his cheeky personality.

‘He was just the funniest little dude. That’s what we call him, little dude. He’s so cheeky, has so much attitude. He really just knew his own mind.

‘And he was loved. Really, really loved.’ 


Locals have donated prized possessions – from boxing gloves worn by Anthony Joshua to an England top signed by Michael Owen – while a public GoFundMe appeal has now topped £111,000

Joey added on social media: ‘I can’t accept it. I will never accept it till the day I die. A part of me has died, I love you baby boy I just want you to come back.’

The family have been overwhelmed by the way their community back at home in Portsmouth has rallied for them.

As they’re in a foreign country doing everything they can to bring little Ace home, the local community has been holding fundraisers in the eight-year-old’s honour.

Locals have donated prized possessions – from boxing gloves worn by Anthony Joshua to an England top signed by Michael Owen – while a public GoFundMe appeal has now topped £115,000. 

And his local football club will also hold a minute’s silence in his honour prior to their next game, relatives said.

Ms Wearn said: ‘The support has been so overwhelming. It’s made us proud to be part of the community. It’s been second to none.’ 

WHAT IS ACUTE MYELOID LEUKAEMIA? 

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a type of blood cancer that starts in young white blood cells in the bone marrow.

AML affects around one in 200 men and one in 255 women in the UK at some point in their lives.

Approximately 19,500 new cases occur every year in the US. It is most often diagnosed in older people.

Symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Frequent infections
  • Bruising or bleeding easily, including nosebleeds or heavy periods
  • Weight loss
  • Bone and joint pain
  • Breathlessness
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Pale skin 

AML is usually treated via chemotherapy. A bone marrow or stem cell transplant may be required.

Source: Cancer Research UK 

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