Tributes to tragic toddler

THE parents of a toddler who died suddenly after a trip to the zoo have paid tribute to their “special and happy” son.Charlie Skeats, two, developed what at first was thought to be a cold after a day at the zoo.

THE parents of a toddler who died suddenly after a trip to the zoo have paid tribute to their “special and happy” son.

Charlie Skeats, two, developed what at first was thought to be a cold after a day at the zoo. But as his condition worsened overnight his concerned parents took him to the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

In accident and emergency, Charlie had a fit and was taken to intensive care and later to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, where he died the same day from broncho-pneumonia.

Paying tribute to their son, Matthew and Becky Skeats, of Sampson Drive, Long Melford, near Sudbury, remain determined to remember the happiness their son brought them.

“He leaves a massive gap in our lives but we can look back and say he was the happiest lad for two years - that's what keeps us going,” said Mr Skeats.

“We're not angry - we have good days and bad days but we want to focus on the happiness because we must be strong for those around us.

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“We also have a four-year-old daughter, Tabitha, who misses Charlie and is lonely but she has been so strong.”

Mrs Skeats said: “You hear about parents who lose children but when you hear yourself talk about your own child it sounds trite but he was special - you just don't have the words to express how it feels.

“He was a typical two-year-old boy who liked going to the zoo, trucks, cranes and anything like that.

“When the bin men came he would pull a chair up to the window and wave to them.

“He used to play with Tabitha a lot. We would find him all done up in dress his sister had helped him get into. He just loved emulating everything she did.

“Charlie was lovely we still can't believe he is not here.”

Mrs Skeats said Tabitha had asked if Charlie would still get older and grow after her parents had explained what had happened to her little brother.

“The answer is obvious but we all have happy memories of him which will grow over time,” said Mrs Skeats.

Mrs Skeats thanked everybody who had given messages of support to the family from Long Melford and further afield.

She said the packed church at Charlie's funeral, at Holy Trinity Church in Long Melford, was testament to the number of people he had touched in his short life.

Donations in Charlie's memory can be sent to Hunnaball Funeral Directors, 62a North Street, Sudbury.

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