Devastated parents find boy, 3, dead after he suddenly passes away in his sleep
The parents of a 'happy and healthy' three-year-old have been left devastated after the youngster died suddenly in his sleep – with no explanation.
Sarah Grogan, 36, and her husband James, 38, put their son Frankie, three, to bed as usual on May 18 last year at their home in Timperley, Cheshire, but were horrified to find him blue and unresponsive the next morning.
Teacher Sarah carried out CPR until the paramedics arrived and Frankie was rushed to Wythenshawe hospital where doctors broke the tragic news that the tot had passed away in his sleep due to Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood Syndrome.
The heartbroken couple, who don't have any other children, have raised £20,000 to date to fund research into the syndrome, which has no known cause.
Sarah said: “Frankie was a healthy and happy boy.
"I put him to bed as usual and he seemed fine. He woke up at around four in the morning asking for water, which is the norm.
"James was supposed to be running the Manchester 10K the next day so I told him we needed to go back to bed because daddy was running and we were all excited.
“I stayed with him until he fell asleep and the next morning when we got up, he wasn’t awake before us which is unusual so we went in to check on him and he wasn’t breathing.
“That day at the hospital was a horrific day. It was just unbelievable, it was surreal.
"At first, we went into automatic mode, but then we were just in complete shock.”
A postmortem revealed Frankie had died of Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood Syndrome, which can occur between the ages of one and 18.
The cause remains unexplained but often, a seemingly healthy child goes to sleep and never wakes up.
More than 40 children in England and Wales die every year without reason due to the syndrome.
Sarah said: “Something had malfunctioned in Frankie's brain which caused his death, but we don’t understand.
“He was perfect, he met all his milestones like walking and talking and he was so smiley.
"If you ask anyone about him, they’ll say how smiley he was.
“He was up for anything and loved having fun.
"He was really excited because he’d just started nursery and had loads of friends, who he loved."
Five months after Frankie passed away, Sarah and cargo agent James set up 'Friends of Frankie' to raise funds for Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood UK, a charity which conducts research into the syndrome.
The couple have so far raised a whopping £20,000 with raffles, a ball and auctions and aim to raise a further £20k running this year's Manchester 10k race together in May.
Sarah said raising money for the charity had helped the couple's grieving process.
She added: “It’s a bold statement but I want Frankie’s legacy to save other children’s lives – I want it to be positive.
"I don’t want him to be remembered as that day in the hospital or the immediate aftermath.
“I really want people to carry on talking about Frankie, even though he isn’t here anymore.
"People should be happy because that’s what he was like. I want people to think about his big smile because that’s what keeps me going.
“On his birthday in January, we had the family round and ordered 40 chicken nugget happy meals because they were his favourite, and just remembered him.”
To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/friendsoffrankie
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