South Mimms mum fundraising after two-year-old son dies unexpectedly
- Credit: Archant
A South Mimms mum is fundraising in memory of her two-year-old son after he died from a respiratory illness.
Jo-Ann Cousins, 33, is raising money for Essex & Herts Air Ambulance after her son Tommy passed away unexpectedly from parainfluenza on Tuesday, September 26 last year.
The toddler was staying at his grandmother’s house for the weekend when he started to look unwell and fell asleep.
Jo-Ann said: “When the Essex & Herts ambulance arrived at the house along with all the other emergency services, they spent 50 minutes giving Tommy CPR, and finally got his heart pumping.
“But by that time his brain stem had already died.”
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The youngster was transported to Great Ormond Street Hospital and put on a life support machine, but tests confirmed there was no brain activity.
“The dark hole he has left in all of our lives will never be filled and will never get easier to deal with,” Jo-Ann said.
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She added: “Even though he was small – he was mighty. He had the biggest personality, and if you had a small encounter with him or a big encounter he sure did leave a massive print on your heart.”
Jo-Ann is holding a fun day at The White Hart pub in St Albans Road, South Mimms, which will have a bouncy castle, face painting, live music, and a unicorn visit.
There will also be a raffle, fire engine, sponsored head shaving and tug-of-war at the event – scheduled to start at 1pm on Saturday, June 23, and go on until late – with all proceeds going to the charity.
“This is in honour of Tommy,” she added, “but also to raise money in Tommy’s name for Essex & Herts Air Ambulance as they are the only emergency team which gets no help from our government.”
Following the heart-wrenching experience, Jo-Ann said she eventually decided to donate Tommy’s organs – which has already helped to save the lives of others.
The mother-of-three added: “Even though it was so devastating losing my baby, we are all so proud to share that his beautiful little life has now helped a small baby with his liver and a middle-aged man with his kidneys.
“Tommy Peter Albert Booz is not only my little hero but he is also a hero for the people in receipt of his organ donations.”