The funeral procession for 25 year old Henry Searle, who valiantly fought brain cancer for far longer than doctors ever expected, will take place through Swanage to allow everyone who knew him or contributed towards the fundraising for his treatment to say goodbye.
His family said that he died peacefully at Dorchester County Hospital on Easter Sunday 4th April 2021, 12 days before his 26th Birthday. This was poignant, as he was born on an Easter weekend.
The funeral cortege will travel through Swanage
Due to government Covid restrictions there will be a small funeral on Monday 19th April 2021 but in order for others to be able to pay their respects, the funeral cortege will travel through the town first.
It will start at 11.40 am from the chapel of rest, go over the Northbrook Road railway bridge and then towards the town centre. It will drive through town, looping up Seymour Road and down Park Road before travelling along the High Street.
Given 12 to 14 months to live
At the age of 19, Swanage resident Henry Searle was given 12 to 14 months to live after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. However, unwilling to accept that nothing could be done, the family searched worldwide for treatments that would extend his life.
In order to pay for the therapy that was not funded by the NHS, they raised thousands of pounds, helped by local charity Cancare Purbeck. Many events have taken place over the years in Swanage to boost funds as part of the Support 4 Henry campaign.
Henry with his parents Jonathan and Vicki Searle
“Henry was given more precious years of quality life”
His family said:
“With the support, generosity and kindness of family, friends, local community charities, far reaching communities of fundraisers, medical professionals and strangers worldwide, Henry was given more precious years of quality life.
“With his treatments he travelled worldwide mainly to India where he made new friends and classed them as family.
“From the day of his diagnosis, Henry faced his challenges with positivity and bravery. He approached his illness as a minor inconvenience, that allowed him to continue to lead his life to the full, until shortly before his demise,
“Henry’s passing was brief and with little pain and surrounded by his close family. Thanks go out to all the staff at Dorchester County hospital, who treated him with respect and dignity, and allowed his passing to be peaceful and for a family to have closure.
“The family would like to thank everyone for their fantastic support for Henry over the years, which allowed these years to be enjoyed and packed full of life.
“It is hoped that Henry will be remembered in a positive and loving way, and for those of you that crossed his path we would love to hear your memories.
“As his parents, siblings, family and friends we loved him so much. He was the most courageous person we have ever known, and if you saw him during his illness or bumped into him and asked him how he was, he would always say “I’m good thanks”.
“He was a true inspiration to us all and he was such a kind, generous and peaceful person.”
Henry (second left) with family and friends
Praise for the Swanage Ambulance Car
Henry’s mother Vicki Searle also added her praise for the Swanage Ambulance Car, which has quickly come to the family’s assistance on many occasions. She said:
“The local ambulance car, and the assisting paramedic teams were fantastic and arrived on both days within minutes to try and save Henry, and as a local community we need to pull together, sign the petitions and keep our services here in Swanage.”
Henry Searle’s funeral service is at 1 pm on Monday 19th April and the family are inviting friends and the wider local community to watch the service online.
Supporting local charities
Anyone who wishes to give a donation can do so by supporting two local charities that helped Henry. They are Cancare Purbeck and #Willdoes and money can be pledged via the funeral director’s website. Messages of condolence may also be posted on the website.
Once the full restrictions are lifted, the family say, along with his friends, they will be arranging an event to truly celebrate Henry’s life and his love of music.