Rex was 3 days off 22 months. He was a gregarious happy toddler who attracted an audience wherever he went. He had a smile that could light up a room and a contagious giggle that will never be forgotten. He loved Toy Story, Woody was his favourite. He would insist on watching it over and over again. Thank goodness there are 3 in the series. His siblings adored him and were looking forward to growing up with him and sharing their future together. Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and cousins also adored him dearly as did his young Nanny Lottie.
The week Rex passed away, both boys had been suffering from a viral infection, Rex seemingly less so than Monty. In the early hours of Saturday morning we were woken by Rex. He was hot and bothered with a slight temperature. I took him downstairs and tried to calm him. He persistently called for his Daddy so Paul joined us as we all squeezed onto the sofa. With his arms tightly around us both, Rex was content. The significance didn’t hit us until his unexpected death only hours later. At least we had had those special few hours holding him together.
That morning, he was tired from a broken night’s sleep, as were we all but well enough to be jumping off the sofa onto a beanbag mumbling ‘to infinity and beyond’. He went down for his daily afternoon nap as usual. When we went to wake Rex from his sleep we were confronted with every parents’ worst nightmare – Rex wasn’t breathing. Despite the best efforts of the first responders, an air ambulance crew, and the staff at the Princess Royal hospital in Farnborough, Rex was pronounced dead a few hours later.
The support we have received has been nothing short of amazing and we’d like to thank everyone. In particular our local vicar Linda Green at St Martin’s, the Kent police, the staff at the Princess Royal hospital, and our neighbours throughout Brasted and Sevenoaks who have shown us such kindness and support.
We’ve raised over £80k to fund a 2-year research project by a prominent professor at Great Ormond Street Hospital into SUDC that began in 2016. SUDC is an under-researched area, and anything we can do to stop another toddler from suffering the same fate as our beloved Rex is a positive. We’ve also raised over £14K to refurbish the playground in Brasted Chart which Rex visited daily, many local people and friends and family contributed and we thank them for their generosity. We hope it will become a place for Brasted children to come and meet friends and enjoy hours of fun and happiness in memory of a very playful little boy.