David Cameron’s Father Suffers Stroke, Dies at 77

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Mary and Ian Cameron, the parents of Britain's opposition Conservative Party leader David Cameron, listen as their son makes an April 2010 address

REUTERS/Toby Melville

Britain’s Prime Minister is mourning the loss of his dad, Ian, who had been suffering from heart problems for quite sometime.

The Guardian reports that David Cameron received a Wednesday morning phone call from his mother, Mary, with grave news that his father’s health was deteriorating. With the help of French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s private helicopter, the U.K.’s leader arrived to be by Ian’s bedside before his death. (See photos inside the life of David Cameron.)

The Telegraph adds that Ian Cameron was born with a lower-body disability that eventually required both of his limbs to be amputated. No link has been found between that condition and his passing on Wednesday. And, despite that medical barrier, Ian earned a steady living as a stockbroker, inspiring his children along the way.

“He’s an amazingly brave man because he was born with no heels – quite a disability,” said David Cameron in an ITV interview prior to the 2010 general election. “But the glass with him was half-full, normally with something alcoholic. I think I got my sense of optimism from him.” (See Candid Cameron: TIME’s video interview with the Prime Minister)

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