Weeton man who saved lives through organ donation penned letter to Queen - but did not live to see reply

Antony McCrackenAntony McCracken
Antony McCracken
A Weeton man who died aged just 20 after a lifelong battle with muscular dystrophy penned a letter to Her Majesty the Queen, and received a reply - but sadly did not live to see it.

Antony McCracken, of Wesham Avenue, died of a heart attack on November 26 as a result of duchenne muscular dystrophy, a serious, incurable disease which causes muscle degeneration and breathing problems.

The Dr Who and Marvel fan went on to save the lives of two strangers by donating his organs, becoming the superhero he always dreamed of.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

READ: Marvel-obsessed Wesham man, 20, who dreamed of being a superhero saves lives by donating organs after tragic deathHis mum Becky, 39, has now revealed that her son penned a letter to The Queen secretly before he died, and received a reply from Windsor Castle this month.

Antony with Steve Royle at Brian House in 2011Antony with Steve Royle at Brian House in 2011
Antony with Steve Royle at Brian House in 2011

She said: "I didn't even know he had written to The Queen' I think he was hoping he'd get it before he passed away - but it was so quick. He made a decorated card and asked one of his carers to write the letter. He had to tell them what he wanted to write, because he had lost the ability to do any writing at the end."

The letter, sent by The Queen's lady in waiting on her behalf, read: "Dear Antony, The Queen wishes me to thank you for your handmade card and the message your carer wrote on your behalf.

"Her Majesty was pleased to hear from you and hopes that you too are continued to keep safe and well.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I'm to thank you once again for thinking of The Queen at this time and for sending her your good wishes."

The letter sent to Antony from Windsor CastleThe letter sent to Antony from Windsor Castle
The letter sent to Antony from Windsor Castle

The letter was sent on December 3 - one week after Antony died.

Becky said: "It was quite an honour in a way because not everyone who writes receives a reply."

Antony, known as Little Ant, was laid to rest in a Tardis-shaped coffin on December 9 following his funeral at Christ Church on Garstang Road, Wesham, attended by his mum, dad Anthony, 38, sister Sheyenne, and brothers Calvin and Cohen, who also have duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A fund-raiser set up by his family to pay for the ceremony brought in more than £1,200.

Becky said: "Losing Antony at this time is especially difficult. We're just trying to make it the best time we can for the children, because it will be their first Christmas without Antony.

"Normally he would come and see us, the kids would spend time with him and on Christmas day we'd have a video call showing off all our presents, and obviously this year we're not going to have that. The kids are excited, but they're sad at the same time.

"A few years ago Antony had an adrenal crisis and he spent nearly a month in Manchester hospital, but that time he pulled through. But this time he was just too weak. Even if he survived, he would have only had a few weeks left at most, and that would've been on a ventilator, and it felt wrong not to let him go.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We have really been to hell and back, but we have kept together as a family. It has been difficult, some people say 'how do you keep going?', but you've got to keep going for the kids. It's what you have to do. Just keep a smile on your face and carry on."

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.