Ruby Fuller, a teenager with blood cancer, died the same day Boris Johnson partied with his wife and colleagues in Downing Street – after spending his final days separated from family and friends.
Now, nearly two years after the 18-year-old’s death, her grieving mother, Emma Jones, has spoken of both the family’s lingering heartache and their bitterness at the Prime Minister who “has demonstrated that he had no moral compass”.
Emma revealed Ruby was determined to ‘do the right thing’ and obey Covid rules as the first wave of the pandemic still held the UK in its grip.
Read more: North East Covid victim’s daughter says Boris Johnson would quit ‘if he had any integrity’
She spent her last precious moments with her parents and younger sister as Emma says they tried to give her “the best end to life possible”. A week before her death, her parents took their last photo of their darling daughter – pictured in a hot tub with her father outside the family home in Crystal Palace, south London.
Relatives were prevented from joining them and Ruby had to say goodbye on Zoom. The brave teenager died on May 15, 2020 – the same day Boris Johnson was pictured enjoying cheese and wine with his wife and colleagues in a Downing Street garden.
Talk to The mirror After the Prime Minister was fined £50 for attending yet another birthday meeting breaking the rules, Emma, 52, said Ruby would have been ‘angry’ at Boris’ behavior Johnson.
The environmental consultant said: “While Boris and Rishi partied, we tried to give Ruby the best possible end to life. A hot tub and an inflatable flamingo was all we could manage. No “friends, grandparents or cousins. Not even for 10 minutes. She had to say goodbye on Zoom. We deserve better.”
Ruby was only 17 when she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoblastic T-cell lymphoma, which turned into leukemia.
Emma said there were only four of them during the lockdown. “It was really hard – and it was really hard afterwards. It’s such a devastating thing to watch your child die, and then you end up with each other, paralyzed with grief, and you can’t even not open your doors and let people pour in with their love.
“It was always going to be the saddest and most difficult time, but the rules made it harder. But at the time, we didn’t regret it. We were living in a pandemic and we were doing what everyone had to do – there were no exceptions.
“So when it came out that the people who were making the rules weren’t with us, it became very insulting. They’re not even rules – they’re the law. He [Boris Johnson] demonstrated that he had no moral compass.
“It’s so frustrating that we didn’t seem to have a choice.”
Emma revealed that they thought Ruby was going to get better until three weeks before she died. She spent her last weeks with her parents Emma and Dylan and her younger sister Tabitha, now 15, in a bubble at their home.
They watched movies, had ice cream delivered and played board games, and a friend lent them a hot tub. Ruby’s godmother sent them an inflatable flamingo – and they managed to make some special memories.
Emma recalled, “Ruby would be on Zoom calls with her friends and family. We had a Zoom quiz with my family the day before Ruby died.”
Emma said Ruby would have loved to have her friends, grandparents and cousins with her at the end – but she refused to put anyone in danger. “We discussed whether we were going to ask them to come even though it was against the rules, but she felt like she didn’t want to put other people at risk.
“She had always followed the rules and was very committed to doing the right thing.”
The family was unable to have a proper funeral after Ruby passed away. They set up a bench in their garden where people could come – one at a time – to write memories and share photos while Emma and the family talked to them from an upstairs window.
Despite everything that’s happened, Emma says she’s glad they stuck to the rules because if someone had caught Covid visiting them ‘it would have made something so sad so much worse’.
“When you take care of someone at the end of their life, what they want is essential. I don’t regret at all what we did. People would have been put in danger. I just regret that we has not had a leader who can lead by example.
“Ruby would be so mad at Boris Johnson’s behavior so I do [speaking out] for her. She would like people to know the sacrifices she, her family and friends have made and how utterly insulting the Prime Minister’s behavior is.”
Ruby asked to be remembered for the motto “live sweet, live hard,” her mother says.
The family are now trying to raise £500,000 to fund research into T-cell blood cancers.
Ruby’s “Live Kindly, Live Loudly” fund is a CCLG special fund that raises money for T-cell lymphoma and leukemia research in memory of 18-year-old Ruby Fuller. Make a donation, Click here.