A FAMILY has been left heartbroken after losing their son to a mystery illness just a year after his father died.

However, the community has rallied around the Davies family and raised nearly £3,000 towards the funeral of Sam Davies, who died aged 24 on Sunday May 2.

Sam had been suffering from an undiagnosed illness for nearly seven years which left him bedbound for much of the time.

However, his family say that he stayed very positive until the end, despite his conditioning worsening gradually over five years time.

Close family friend, Nicholas Buckley, described Sam's story as "absolutely tragic" but said he should be remembered as a "lovely lad" who put a smile on people's faces.

He said: "Sam first became ill over seven years ago but the frustrating part is that the doctors still don't fully know what was wrong with Sam.

"He was firstly diagnosed with type one diabetes which was kept under control, and he studied sports science so he was a fit young lad.

"Things just suddenly changed about five years ago, he became very ill and lost lots of weight. Every specialist we saw would send us to someone else as they didn't know what exactly was wrong.

"That was really hard on all the family as we just didn't know what was wrong with Sam.

"Sam had been watching his friends from school over the last five years getting married and having kids while he was deteriorating, it was just so sad.

"He was in so much pain towards the end but he still always managed to put a smile on your face."

This is the second tragedy for the family in just over a year as Sam's dad, Mike, died of natural causes in February of last year.

Nick said it has been an extremely tough time for all the family but that the support they have received from the community in recent days has brought back some positivity.

A justgiving page has been set up to support Sam's mum, Sue, with funeral costs. She had been Sam's full time carer for the last seven years.

The fundraiser has raised over £2,800 so far for the funeral, with Nick saying that any extra money not used for the funeral will be donated to the charity Diabetes UK by Sue.

Nick added: "Sam was always positive until the end and we will always remember the good times with him. Even after five years of pain he still made others around him happy. He was just such a lovely lad.

"His mum is so thankful for the response we have got so far. We really hope we can raise some extra money for Diabetes UK with this fundraiser.

"Sue has received so many messages in the last few days from Sam's school friends and other people she didn't know saying how much they remember Sam and how sorry they are which has made her really happy.

"People still remember his quirks despite not seeing him for years which really shows how well loved he was. Hopefully when we arrange the funeral as many people as possible will be there to give him the send off he deserves."

To see the fundraiser, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Sammsfuneral.