By RACHEL RICKARD STRAUS
Tribute: Members of Bailey Massey's family dressed as cartoon characters to escort the funeral cortege to the local church
Little Bailey Massey rocked with laughter when he watched his favourite cartoon characters on TV as he battled a rare liver disease.
Nine month old Bailey loved Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Fireman Sam, Bob the Builder along with Donald and Daisy Duck.
And when he died after three transplants failed, his family paid tribute to him by dressing as cartoon characters to escort the funeral cortege through the streets of his village to the local church.
Tragic: Bailey Massey died after three failed liver transplant attempts
His grandfather concrete worker Ian Taylor, wearing a Mickey Mouse costume, walked behind the chief mourner. His great uncles, Michael Duggan (Bob the Builder), 33, and Sean Duggan,37 (Fireman Sam) along with family friends Jeanette Otterwell (Donald Duck) and Marie Chamberlain (Daisy Duck) flanked Bailey’s hearse.
Walking behind was Ian’s nephew Ross Taylor, 23, dressed as Minnie Mouse, followed by dozens of mourners as the cortege made the one mile journey through Bolton-on-Dearne, near Rotherham to the parish church.
Funeral cortege: Bailey's grandfather Ian Taylor wore a Mickey Mouse costume, while his great uncle Michael Duggan dressed as Bob the Builder
Ian carried Bailey’s wicker coffin into the church and back to the hearse before the boy was buried in the village cemetery.
Bailey was diagnosed with biliary artresia, caused by bile ducts in the liver not functioning, when he was seven weeks old and after several weeks in hospital and surgery his parents Simon and Lindsay were told their only child needed a liver transplant.
Tribute: People in the streets stopped to pay their respects as the funeral cortege went by
Simon, a painter and decorator, was told his liver matched his son’s and the pair underwent surgery at Leeds General Infirmary on December 20th, but it was unsuccessful. Bailey had a second transplant on Boxing Day which failed due to blood complications.
A third donor liver became available in the south and it was rushed to Leeds by air ambulance but Bailey died during surgery.
Short life: Bailey Massey died on New Years Eve aged just nine months