A family left devastated by the death of their 11-year-old son today spoke of their heartbreaking loss.
Young Bailey Brown, from Alnwick, tragically passed away on Christmas Eve.
The death of the youngster, who was severely disabled from birth and suffered from epilepsy, was sudden and unexpected.
Today his parents, Gareth Brown and Amy Millar, as well as their two sons, Roman, nine, and seven-month-old Freddie, are trying to come to terms with their loss.
Describing the night they Bailey died, Gareth, 35, said: “I put him to bed and then checked on him later and his eyes were glazed over but he had a big smile on his face.
“We called an ambulance but he was declared dead in hospital.
“He was happy in his own bed, I think he chose his time to go.”
The sad loss meant what should have been a time of celebration for the family, turned to sadness.
Gareth added: “Bailey’s presents were all ready wrapped and ready.
“They sat in the corner all afternoon until Roman opened them.
“We had all of the family around on Christmas day and some of Bailey’s cousins took one of his presents as a keep sake.
“We were just going through the motions over Christmas. I couldn’t take it in. I kept thinking I would wake up in the morning and it would all be a dream.”
Gareth, who works at RAF Boulmer in the Military Provost Guard Service, and Amy, told how despite their son’s disabilities, he was always determined to live life to the full.
Holidays to Florida, Ibiza, Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Mexico ensured Bailey never missed out on anything. Instead, his parents are left with plenty of memories to treasure.
Gareth said: “I will always remember his smile. He started to smile aged two. We had gone camping and he was looking through the trees and watching the branches swaying in the wind, and he started smiling.
“I shouted to Amy so she could come and see it. He loved his lights and brightly coloured things.
“When he smiled at you it was all you needed. Everything we had done was worth it.”
Bailey’s parents expressed their thanks to Jesmond’s Northern Counties school where their son was a pupil.
Gareth said: “Everything the school did was fantastic. The staff were a massive part of his life, they kept him well.
“I would like to thank them all.”
The headteacher of his school, Judith James, had known Bailey since he was three and today said he would be a big loss to everyone .
She added: “He was a very smiley, happy, charismatic little character. He had complex needs but in spite of that he had the most amazing life with his family.
“We just enjoyed him in school, he could light up a room. He would make these little cooing noises as soon as he came in and we would all know he was there. “He is a huge miss. He was a huge character from an amazing family.”
Gareth and Amy, 27, are still waiting to find out the cause of Bailey’s sudden death.