London, England (CNN) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday paid tribute to his "amazing" father, whom he called a "real life enhancer."
"Our dad was an amazing man - a real life enhancer. He never let the disability he was born with or the complications in later life get in the way of his incredible sense of fun and enjoyment," said a statement from the prime minister and his family.
"He touched a lot of lives in lots of different ways and was a brilliant husband and father. You could never be down for long when he was around. We will miss him terribly but have a bank of memories that can never be exhausted."
Cameron's father, Ian, suffered a stroke and heart complications while on vacation in France. The prime minister flew to France to be with his father, missing the weekly Question Time in the House of Commons.
"This was unexpected and sudden, but he was having a wonderful holiday and was with great friends," the statement said. "Above all he was with mum, to whom he was devoted, and he was happy - and the end came quickly. We will treasure all the joy he brought us."
Cameron also thanked French President Nicolas Sarkozy for arranging a helicopter that allowed him to see his 77-year-old father before he passed away.
"I am extremely grateful to President Sarkozy who helped me get to the hospital while dad was still with us so I could say goodbye. We would like to thank Nicolas and everyone at the hospital who worked so hard to look after dad."
Two weeks ago, David Cameron and his wife, Samantha, announced the birth of their fourth child, Florence Rose Endellion. The baby had been born early while the Camerons were on holiday in Cornwall, in southwest England.