HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Hundreds of people gathered Friday to remember an 8-year-old South Carolina boy who died from cancer on Christmas Eve.
Jonah Burton was surrounded by his entire family as he took his last breath at home.
“We were all taking a photo, and I watched his heart or his chest go up, down, and it didn’t come up again,” said Destiny Burton, Jonah Burton’s sister.
“He knew I wanted to update our family photos, because it’s been so hard to get everybody together, and that moment we were all together, that’s the moment he knew it was OK,” said Rachel Tracy, Jonah Burton’s mother. “He was OK. He was at peace and he went so peacefully.”
Burton was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer when he was just 18 months old. It was classified by doctors in 2016 as an HGNET with a BCOR mutation.
“No matter how much pain he was in, no matter how much it hurt him, he would put everybody else before he got picked on, but he would still have a smile on his face,” Destiny Burton said.
To his family, Jonah Burton was a hero and one of the sweetest people anyone would ever meet. He would pray and share scripture with all who would listen.
“When he would walk into a room, you would forget about all your problems,” Destiny Burton said. “And it would be just amazing. Like, the feeling of love this kid had for everybody.”
“It was unreal,” Tracy said. “It was godly.”
Burton had celebrated his 8th birthday twice with the Horry County Police Department. HCPD recognized him as an honorary police officer in October. On Friday, Jonah Burton received public safety honors from HCPD.
Jonah’s story even touched others in countries such as Mexico and Guatemala.
“Everybody in the whole world knew of Jonah and knew his story,” Tracy said. “And that’s all he wanted, and helped us tremendously. We couldn’t be more blessed to have the people in our lives because of Jonah.”
Jonah’s mother and sisters said they will keep Jonah’s name alive through the Jonah Strong Foundation.