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Brazilian boy who painted pictures of saints to help pay for his medical treatment dies

Daniel Neves, who died May 18, 2021. Daniel Neves, who died May 18, 2021.

Daniel Neves, a 13-year-old boy who painted pictures of the saints and the Blessed Virgin Mary to help to pay for his medical treatment, died May 18 after being hospitalized for almost two weeks with COVID-19.

At eight months Daniel was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, liver fibrosis, and spleen problems, and spent most of his life in the hospital. When he was five, his kidneys stopped functioning and he had to undergo hemodialysis every week. It was during that time that he learned to paint, and the sale of his paintings helped pay for his treatment.

The young boy mainly painted pictures of Catholic saints. On a waiting list to receive a kidney transplant, Daniel also created a picture of Our Lady of the Kidneys, so the Virgin would protect him during the operation and guide the doctors to perform the procedure successfully.

Daniel was born in Guanambi, Brazil, and lived with his mother, Cleide Neves, in an apartment in Salvador. Every three months he was taken to São Paulo for the necessary treatments.

An Instagram post announced the little boy died May 18 after being hospitalized for COVID-19 for 13 days.

“He fought bravely to the end. Thank you all for your care and support for him during all these years. You were part of his life, of his love for drawing ... May God bless you all,” the post says.

The boy's mother said that Daniel made her life more “special, sweet, fun and mischievous” and that the boy captivated people with his talent.

“Now you will make Heaven more colorful! We will miss you every day! Rest in peace,” she added.

The mother said the process of Daniel leaving this world was a special time and that God was merciful in allowing this time to say goodbye, even if it was painful.

"You will always be remembered and loved!" she concluded.

The Brazilian crowdfunding network voaa_vaquinhadorazoes, which ran a campaign to pay for Daniel’s medical expenses, said, “we can't even express in words how sad and shaken we are,” adding that the amount raised by the campaign helped a lot with the boy’s treatment and pledged “to continue to help the family in this difficult time."

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