'RIP my angel': Internet star Leo Lagana's mom pays touching tribute as son dies at 22

'RIP my angel': Internet star Leo Lagana's mom pays touching tribute as son dies at 22
Leo Lagana died on January 23, 2023 (Facebook/Leo Lagana)

WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA: A man with primordial dwarfism who won the hearts of people all around the world died on Monday, January 23, at the age of 22. Leo Lagana, a native of Wollongong, had been suffering from aneurysms for much of his life as a side effect of primordial dwarfism type II.

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Leo was 93 cm tall and weighed 20 kg. His outgoing personality inspired countless others through his online presence. Leo had been in and out of hospital over the past month as his condition deteriorated. His heartbroken mother Pauline Lagana confirmed the news of his death on Monday morning. "I'm so sorry I couldn’t do more for you," she said on Facebook. Pauline added, "RIP my angel. Mum and Dad have such a void now. Forever broken." 

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Tributes have since flowed through for Leo, as he is remembered for his "strength" and "determination." "I am heartbroken at the passing of Leo. I can only imagine the pain the family are feeling. Leo in one way or another has touched us all over the years. He was a strong and determined little man who brought all of joy, tears and courage. We are all blessed to have known him. I send my deepest condolences to Pauline Lagana & John Lagana and all the family. God bless you all and give you strength. RIP LEO LAGANA," wrote Patricia Palombo Grasso on Facebook.

"I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of this brave little man Leo Lagana who has endured many health challenges in his short life. Sincerest condolences to his parents Pauline Lagana and John Lagana. You are now at peace little angel," Libby Petrella wrote on Facebook.

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Leo battled his disease with humour and playfulness, garnering up to 14,000 followers on his Facebook page where he would share his day-to-day life. Before his death, Leo's mother spent many hours working to spread awareness of his condition after he was labeled a "freak" and tormented on social media. "People come up to me and say, 'What's wrong with him?' I don't mind at all. It's better they ask, rather than standing there and staring," she said. Pauline further added, "I think the world needs to be educated." She previously said her son "walks down the street like he's 10ft tall" thanks to his "loud, gregarious, cheeky and very social" personality. 

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