Cliff fall teen had incurable genetic condition


A TRAGIC teenager who plunged to his death from a cliff was suffering from an incurable genetic condition.

Lewis Lowe, 18, was found fatally injured at the foot of crags in Arbroath, Angus, in the early hours of Friday morning.

A search team had earlier been deployed to search for the teen who had been reported missing the previous evening.

Lewis had recently been diagnosed with a genetic condition

Today his mother Wendy Mills said her son had recently found out the cause of a mystery illness which had put him in hospital and meant he occasionally needed a wheelchair.

But she refuted suggestions that Lewis killed himself, saying that he had gone to cliff following a row with his girlfriend and slipped.

She said: “He’d been ill for two years and they’d only just found out what was wrong.

“It was a gene deficiency and he would have had to be on medication for life.

“He would never get better but he was stable. He had everything to live for.”

Lewis, pictured with Johnny Van Zant, was a fan of Lynyrd Skynyrd

She added that Lewis often went to the cliffs to think and had gone on Friday night following an argument.

She said: “He’d just had a fall out with his girlfriend. He used to go out there to think.

“They said he’d lost his footing.

He was a silly boy who stayed out too long, came back in the dark and slipped.”

Lewis’s father, George, who is divorced from Wendy Mills, said his son’s condition had been diagnosed a year ago.

He said his son was on constant medication to suppress his immune system because any infection – even a slight cold – could make him ill and possibly put him back in hospital.

He said: “When my son was diagnosed with his illness I made it my priority to make every wish my son had to come true.

George said his son’s dream was to meet the members of the US rock group Lynrd Skynyrd.

“I made this a major priority to make sure this dream was realised,” said George

“After Lewis had met them, [lead singer] Johnny Van Zant gave Lewis his baseball cap which Lewis never took off his head. I am sure he would love to be buried with it too.”

He added: “Lewis’s passing is only a temporary glitch in our relationship because I know one day me and Lewis, in the words of Lynyrd Skynyrd, will be flying high freebird.”

Tributes to the rock music fan have been  pouring in on social media sites.

A tribute page set up by George showed Lewis with his Lynyrd Skynyrd heroes.

One picture showed an excited Lewis posing with Rickey Medlocke, Johnny Van Zant and Mark Matejka, as well as a get well card from the American group.

The teen had recieved a get well card from the American band

Another saw the teen, sporting a large plaster at his throat, sitting next to boxer Frank Bruno.

In a touching tribute, Lewis’ brother Nathan wrote: “Going to miss u forever brother,everyday will be a struggle without you here xx”

Sarah Lynne Burnett, Lewis’ girlfriend, wrote: “I can’t explain how sorry I am! I love Lewis more than anyone could ever understand. I miss him so much! It’s hard waking up and not seeing his face or snuggling at night or going on walks and just talking about random things. He was my soul mate, my lover but most of all my best friend. I love you Lew Bear and nothing will ever change that. Me and you baby forever and always ? Xxxxxxxx”

A police spokesman said: “Tayside Police can confirm that a man whose body was discovered at Arbroath cliffs on Friday, May 3 has been formally identified.

“He has been named as 18-year-old Lewis Lowe from Dishlandtown Street, Arbroath.

“Emergency services were alerted to a missing 18-year-old man in the Arbroath area.  Information suggested he may be in the area of Arbroath cliffs and a search began.  This included police officers with a police dog, coastguard and a ARCC helicopter from Kinloss.

“A man was found at the foot of the cliffs at about 4.30am.  He had sustained life threatening injuries.

“Paramedics were quickly at the scene and tended to the casualty en-route by helicopter to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. Tragically he succumbed to his injuries before arriving at hospital.

“A report on the matter will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”