An Arbroath family has paid tribute to their “warrior” son who lost his lifelong battle with a degenerative disease last week.
Daniel Mathieson was just 23 when he died on Friday afternoon as a result of complications brought on by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
The Mathieson family have already lost two other sons, James and John, to the disease which saw them confined to a wheelchair.
Daniel rose to local prominence after his parents, Yvonne and Norman, started a fund-raising campaign to take him on one last family holiday.
‘Daniel’s Dream’ raised over £10,000 to take Daniel and his family on an extended trip to his dream destination of Disneyworld.
Step dad Norman told the Herald on Tuesday: “He got his holiday which was the main thing. He thoroughly enjoyed it and he wanted to go back again more than anything.”
Understandably, the family were devastated by the loss. Daniel’s mother, Yvonne, said: “I feel empty and I feel lost. He was an inspiration to us all and my world is upside down. That was our life, looking after the boys. Now they are gone there is nothing to do.
“He’s at peace and out of pain and reunited with his brothers again.”
Norman praised Daniel’s strength of character. He said: “Daniel was a warrior, he’s been through it all, he’s seen everything in life, but that didn’t stop him, he was a fighter.
“No matter where he went or what he did he was happy. We saw the deterioration in here, but when he went out there he wouldn’t let anything get him down.
“He paved the way and achieved what he wanted for his brothers which was to keep going. When I first met him he was the weakest, but I built him up and he was determined about his condition and he kept fighting every day.”
Not limited by his condition Daniel was a passionate Celtic fan, WWE wrestling follower and computer game player.
Norman said: “But most of all he loved going out and meeting people. He had to be careful when he went out because he couldn’t maintain his body heat, but he never let that get to him.
“He went to Celtic Park last year, he went to the WWE in Newcastle and he went on his big holiday.”
The family wished to express their gratitude to all the people, organisations and businesses which had supported them.
Norman said: “We want to say thank you to everyone who has helped us in any way, and a special thank you to the staff at Ninewells Hospital who have been amazing and the ambulance crews as well.”
Daniel was a former pupil of Ladyloan Primary School, Arbroath High School and latterly Angus College where he studied IT.
The funeral will be held in George Stewart Funeral Directors in Millgate Loan on Tuesday at 10.30 a.m. followed by interment at the Eastern Cemetery and then Portcullis. All those who wish to pay their respects are invited to attend.