My Boy Always Will Be The Missing Piece Of Our Family

My boy always will be the missing piece of our family. Life will never be complete without him đź’”

What happened to that little boy?
How did he die?
What can I do to stop it from happening my child?

Just some of the questions I’ve seen on my previous posts this week. I don’t want to scare people but for those who don’t know, this is Jacks story 💔

On 17th December 2012, I had waved my happy and healthy five year old son Jack off to school all ready for his Christmas party and pantomime. At that time, I had no idea that was going to be the last time that I would ever see Jack awake again. It was to be the last time that I would have the “morning school rush”, it was to be the last time that I wave Jack off to school and it was to be the last time that I would feel him cuddle me and kiss me goodbye.

Jack was staying with his dad that night so I called him after work to see how his day at school had gone. As Jack had went to school dressed as an elf that day, he had been the life and soul of his school and he couldn’t wait to tell me that they had been “singing that song you sing to me in a funny voice mummy”.
When I asked what song he meant, Jack started to sing the 12 days of Christmas to me. Since the start of December that year, I had been reading that book to Jack in bed at night so he was all chuffed that his class had got to sing it in school that day. As I said goodbye on the phone and told Jack that I loved him, I had no idea that would be the last time that I would hear him tell me that he loved me back. I had no idea that in fact, I would never hear him talk to me again. That night I spent the night wrapping all of Jacks Christmas and Birthday presents and I could not wait to see his face on Christmas morning. Little did I know that Jack would not live to see Christmas.

As nobody calls my house phone, I instantly knew that something was wrong when I woke up it ringing on the morning of the 18th December 2012. All I remember was jumping out the bed and racing out to the car as Jacks dad told me that I needed to get to the RAH. When I asked Derek if Jack was ok and where he was and he replied, I don’t know if he’s ok, they are in working on him, I knew in my gut that it was something serious.

As I got to the RAH, I was told that Jack had gone to bed with nothing more than a temperature, he had woke up in the morning, spoke to his dad and went back to sleep. When Derek went back in, Jack was unconscious and not breathing. After rushing him to hospital, the doctors managed to restart Jacks heart but they had no idea why Jacks heart had stopped in the 1st place. They told us that as it had already stopped, there was a good chance that it could stop again. Jack was a healthy 5 year old boy who had no underlying health conditions so none of it made any sense. After hours in ICU, they decided that they wanted to give Jack the best possible chance so they were going to transfer him to Yorkhill sick kids. That was not to be the case as Yorkhill was full that day so Jack needed to go to Edinburgh. I remember asking the doctors lots of questions…. when Jack goes to Edinburgh, will they do this? Will they do that? His reply was probably the best way that a doctor can prepare you for the worst. “Arlene, just go hold your babies hand because you don’t know how much longer you will get to do it for”. In that instant, I knew in my heart that it wasn’t going to be a good outcome? Jack was transferred through to Edinburgh Sick Kids but neither his dad nor I were allowed to travel with him as there was no space in the ambulance. The longest journey of my life.

As we arrived in Edinburgh, we were told that they didn’t think that Jack was going to make the journey through and that it was unlikely that he would survive the night. The doctor told us that blood tests had shown an every day cold and flu virus in Jacks system, it was in his heart and kidneys and for some reason the virus had attacked his heart that morning and that’s what caused it to stop. Brain scans had shown that Jack had sustained brain damage due to a lack of oxygen to his brain in the time between his heart stopping and the doctors managing to get it started again. Jack like his favourite character the Hulk, fought hard and he did survive the night, allowing us to spend one last night by his side. Sadly Jack lost his fight the following night.

Jack showed no symptoms of being ill before this point, he had a temperature that night and he had a cold a few days before but he was neither up or down with it. Like we are all advised, he was given calpol to bring the temperature down. We all think a virus isn’t serious but Jack is proof that it can be. I do not want to scare anyone with this, I just want to draw peoples attention to the fact that a virus can be serious so please be alert if your child takes ill.

Arlene, Jack’s Mummy xxxx



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