THE grieving family of a ten-week-old baby who died three days before Christmas have raised hundreds of pounds for a charity that aims to reduce cot death.
Jonah William Llewellyn, from Darlington, was found unconscious by his mother Sarah, on December 22, when she went to give him a night feed.
Despite the best efforts of paramedics, he could not be saved, leaving his family devastated and searching for answers as to why their healthy baby boy had been taken so suddenly.
Speaking to The Northern Echo, Miss Llewellyn said not a day goes by that she does not think about Jonah.
His loss is also felt by his sister, nine-year-old Emily, and father Steven Hopkins, 42.
Miss Llewellyn said: “Jonah was absolutely gorgeous, always laughing and grinning and he loved his sister. Losing him came totally out of the blue.”
As well as the support of friends and loved ones, Jonah’s family have taken advice from the website of cot death charity the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID), which has help for bereaved families.
What started as a collection of donations in lieu of floral tributes at Jonah's funeral has now seen more than £750 raised for FSID.
An FSID survey showed that there were 254 cot deaths in England in 2010, with more boys affected than girls.
Miss Llewellyn hopes her family’s tragic experience will help raise awareness among new parents of the potential risks.
She said: “We thought there must be some way we could help the charity’s research, as no parent should have to go through this much pain.
“The charity was there to answer some of the many questions myself and my family had.
“An inquest into Jonah’s death was opened and adjourned and the coroner said he looked like a very well looked-after, fit and healthy baby boy.
“We do not know why it happened – sometimes there is no reason.
“But ‘just because’ should not be the answer bereaved families are left with, there should be a proper reason.
“Emily has been really good, she was not at home when it happened. She was staying at her auntie’s, which I am thankful for.
“She is always talking about him and writing him little cards and pictures.”
Memories of Jonah fill the family home, from pictures on the walls to a collection of treasured photographs on the coffee table.
A private family burial last month was followed by a ‘celebration of life’ party at the Railway Tavern, in Northgate, which was attended by hundreds of people.
To support the family’s fundraising, visit justgiving.com/remember/46133/jonah-llewellyn