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Sheerness parents' grief at tragic death of 'happy-go-lucky' little boy Jamie Jr Askew who died from viral infection

By Lewis Dyson

The parents of a three-year-old boy who passed away from a viral infection have said their lives "ended the day he died".

An inquest heard how Jamie Jr Askew got out of his bed during the night, climbed in with mother Leanne Macdonald and never woke up.

His parents, both from Sheerness, have now paid tribute to "our little boo".

Sheerness boy Jamie Jr Askew died from a viral infection

Miss Macdonald, 27, said: "People think we are getting on with our lives, but it will never be the same again so to carry on without him is very difficult.

"We didn't want to be left with just memories, although we have got lots of beautiful ones - we wanted our little boy."

Father Jamie Askew, 26, said: "He was happy-go-lucky. He was a little bruiser."

The inquest into Jamie Jr's death heard he had been suffering from a cold, was chesty and had vomited on the night of November 30, 2012.

He was given an inhaler and Calpol before bed.

The following morning, he was found "unresponsive, floppy with blue lips" and was taken to Medway Maritime Hospital, Gillingham, where he was pronounced dead.

The parents of little Jamie Jr Askew described him as 'happy-go-lucky'

However, Mid Kent and Medway coroner Patricia Harding said: "From the evidence it is likely he died at his home address."

She recorded a verdict of death by natural causes due to respiratory synctial virus, which she said was a "naturally occurring condition, but unusual to cause the death of a child".

She added: "It only remains for me to say that I am sorry it has taken a long time to resolve."

The inquest originally opened on December 6, 2012 but was adjourned on February 19, 2013 after questions were raised in relation to Jamie Jr's care by his GP and damp conditions he was living in at the time in The Crescent, Sheerness.

However, the corner said the care provided was "that expected of a responsible and competent GP" and the conditions in which the toddler lived "did not in any way contribute to him contracting a viral infection which led to his death".

The possibility was also raised Jamie Jr died from a rare genetic condition, but this was later discounted.

Leanne Macdonald and Jamie Askew with three-month-old daughter Lola

Mother Miss Macdonald said she was planning on taking her son Christmas shopping with his grandparents on the day of his death.

She has since given birth to daughter Lola in January. She said: "He is now a big brother and will never be forgotten and every day is a struggle.

"The hurt and strains will never go but she just makes it that much easier. Whereas before I had nothing to live for, now I do."

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