The heartbroken parents of a ‘loving, cheeky’ toddler who died less than a week after being diagnosed with a brain tumour have paid tribute to their ‘beautiful’ son.

When tot Leo Hambly was feeling unwell last month mum Rebecca, 31, took him to see her GP.

Within 24 hours the two-year-old from Willington, County Durham had been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive brain tumour which tragically claimed his life just six days later.

The Northern Echo: Rebecca, Ashley and Leo.Rebecca, Ashley and Leo. (Image: FAMILY)

His heartbroken parents have now paid tribute to their ‘perfect’ son.

Rebecca, and web developer dad Ashley, 27, told the Echo: “Leo was your typical cheeky chap.

“He was absolutely gorgeous – he was so friendly and loved to sit on your lap for cuddles. He was just so caring and loving and inquisitive.

“He was getting to the stage where you were able to have a conversation with him.

The Northern Echo: Leo Joseph Fredcenzo Hambly.Leo Joseph Fredcenzo Hambly. (Image: FAMILY)

“He loved Bluey – I have lost count of how many times I’ve watched every single episode of every single season.”

On Monday, January 15 after a trip to the GP Leo was blue-lit to hospital in Durham.

CT scans discovered a ‘group three Medullablastoma’ tumour – a rare, aggressive and fast-growing mass on his brain – and he was transferred to the RVI in Newcastle.

By the Thursday evening Leo had been moved to end-of-life care and passed away that Sunday (January 21).

The Northern Echo: Leo and Rebecca.Leo and Rebecca. (Image: FAMILY)

The tumour is undetectable by a blood test meaning it went undiagnosed following a hospital visit between Christmas and New Year, and a follow up GP appointment on January 4 when Leo appeared off his food and tired.

His parents now believe him throwing up on Christmas Eve, something they then thought was down to the excitement of Christmas, may have been a first symptom.

“It wasn’t diagnosed until January 15. The GP said we needed to go to hospital, and they took us in the ambulance to Durham,” Rebecca said.

“They were really concerned about him because all he wanted to do was sleep and they took him for a CT scan.

“It wasn’t long before we were taken to a private room and that’s when we were told that it’s not good news and Leo had a brain tumour.

The Northern Echo: Leo Joseph Fredcenzo Hambly.Leo Joseph Fredcenzo Hambly. (Image: FAMILY)

“They said because of the size of the tumour they couldn’t remove it. They did an MRI and it had already spread so they did a biopsy – it was the longest four or five hours of our lives.”

By the Thursday night Rebecca and Ashley received a call from doctors saying Leo’s condition had declined and family were able to gather by his bedside.

“They very much expected him to pass that morning (Friday) within a few hours and he stayed with us 58 more hours.

“We promised him, ‘We don’t want you to go. I know that you don’t want to go but you have to because you’re just too poorly to stay. But it’s ok to go and you don’t need to be scared, you’ve got some people waiting for you up there who will take good care of you.’.

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“We told him we’d fight for him. We said mummy and daddy will never stop until our last breath. We want to help raise awareness and money to contribute to further research.

“If we are able to save even one life we know we are doing the right thing.”

The family now hope to continue Leo’s legacy and are looking to set up a charity of the same name.