Mother's tears for ‘angel’ Jay Strand

A HEARTBROKEN mother has told of her anguish after her ten-year-old son died in her arms following an asthma attack.

Jay Strand died unexpectedly at his home in Pontefract Road, Snaith, on December 11.

His mother, Donna Hellewell, said the football-mad youngster was getting ready for bed when he shouted for her. She rushed to his bedroom and found Jay – a chronic asthmaticm – struggling to breathe.

“I shouted at my mother to call for an ambulance while I grabbed his inhaler and mask. I put his mask on his face and he just pushed it off and turned to me and said ‘mum, I am dying’.

“I started to perform CPR but I knew my little boy was gone. He had no pulse – nothing. He was gone quicker than turning a light off.”

An ambulance took Jay to York Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Donna said her son’s sudden death was a “massive shock” and believes he may have suffered many of the same symptons she had - she suffers from chronic emphysema which led to her having a lung removed last year.

However, Donna said she drew comfort from Snaith Primary School where Jay was a popular pupil.

“They have been fantastic,” she said. “He loved the school and teachers there called him a ‘smile sharer’ – he loved to make people smile.

“Everyone has said the same thing – that he was angelic, an angel.

“He touched everyone he met. I am just devastated.

“It has been an awful Christmas. I am still in anguish. His Christmas presents are still under the tree.”

Donna said the funeral service, held on December 21, was packed with friends, family and classmates.

Jay, an avid Chelsea fan who loved to attend Sea Scouts in Rawcliffe, is survived by his sister Lucy Strand and brother David Irwell.

Lucy described her brother as “my everything”, saying: “He was amazing, funny, beautiful and my everything. I miss him so, so, so much. God has taken my baby brother and it is killing me knowing I’m never going to see him again.”

A dedicated Facebook group – RIP Jay Strand – has attracted more than 1,000 followers and dozens of messages of condolence.

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