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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 December 2006, 14:32 GMT
MSP's son dies from brain tumour
Dennis Canavan
Dennis Canavan said the loss had devastated the family
Independent MSP Dennis Canavan has spoken of his devastation after the death of his son from a brain tumour.

The politician said the 35-year-old, also called Dennis, had bravely fought the disease but died in hospital.

The qualified nurse had been studying for a degree at Stirling University before being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in August.

Mr Canavan, MSP for Falkirk West, lost the youngest of his five children, Paul, to skin cancer in 1989.

He said Dennis died on Friday at the Western General Hospital, in Edinburgh.

Dennis Jnr has been survived by his partner Alison and sons Ciaran, 11, and Callum, nine.

I find it too difficult to comprehend
Dennis Canavan

Mr Canavan, 64, said: "I was with Dennis when he died very peacefully. He put up a very brave fight and he died with great dignity."

The month after his diagnosis Dennis Jnr underwent major surgery, followed by radiotherapy, before suffering a cardiac arrest two weeks ago.

Medical staff managed to get his heart beating again but he did not regain consciousness.

The death is the latest tragedy to hit Mr Canavan's family.

As well as 16-years-old Paul's death in 1989, his eldest son Mark, who lives in Australia, suffers from motor neurone disease.

"I find it too difficult to comprehend," Mr Canavan added. "All I can do is hope and pray and ask other people to do the same."


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