Family of tragic Kieran, 12: ‘We’ve lost the man of our house’

THE distraught family of a 12-year-old boy who collapsed and died while playing with a friend spoke last night of their shock at his sudden death.

They said they had no idea what had caused the tragedy in which happy youngster Kieran Jennings – described as “the man” of his household – was found unconscious on a pathway after he raced a friend home in Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday afternoon.

Despite the efforts of a passer-by to revive him, Kieran, who had recently celebrated his 12th birthday, died at the town’s West Suffolk Hospital.

Kieran’s mother Alice, of Runnymede Green, Bury, said the family had no idea what caused her son to collapse. However, she said meningitis or heart failure have been cited as possible reasons.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” she said. “It was so sudden. It came completely out of the blue. It was the last thing I expected to happen.”

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And Kieran’s older sister, 18-year-old Clare, said the family were still trying to come to terms with his death. “It is going to be hard to get used to life without him,” she said. “We have lost the man of our house.”

Kieran was found near woodland on the corner of Appledown Drive and Bramley Close at 3.30pm on Wednesday.

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A pupil at Hardwick Middle School in Bury, he had been playing with a friend on the town’s Moreton Hall estate when they decided to race each other home.

When Kieran failed to arrive, his friend retraced his steps and found the boy collapsed on a pathway.

The young friend called for help and a passer-by tried to resuscitate by the mouth-to-mouth method while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

Ms Jennings was told the news by the friend’s distraught mother, who told her to get to the scene immediately.

“It just seemed almost unreal,” she said. “I knew there was something very wrong. I just kept hoping he would be alright.”

Emergency crews battled to save Kieran’s life but he was pronounced dead a short time later.

At home yesterday, Ms Jennings, thanked the man who had tried to save her son’s life.

“I was so grateful to the man who was there,” she said.

“He did his best. Everyone tried for a long time to revive him – they did everything they could.”

Kieran and his twin sister Heidi, 12, had celebrated their twelfth birthday on Saturday.

“He was chirpy and cheerful,” Ms Jennings said. “He was always smiling, very happy and lively. He was so full of fun.”

Police cordoned off the area around the spot where Kieran was found and a police helicopter was launched while initial investigations took place.

A police spokeswoman said there were not thought to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding Kieran’s death.

Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to contact Suffolk police on 01473 613500.

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