My son occasionally suffered from gastrointestinal problems

A mother who lost her three-year-old son to an unexplained death has spoken out about how her family’s lives have been changed forever.

Emily, 34, and Darren Bowes, 39, dating LancasterShe lived with her two sons, Alexander, three, and Freddie, two, with another child on the way.

Little Alexander Bowes, 3, died on Boxing Day last year


Little Alexander Bowes, 3, died on Boxing Day last yearPhoto credit: MEN Media
Emily and Darren with their two sons


Emily and Darren with their two sonsPhoto credit: MEN Media

On Boxing Day last year, tragedy struck when Alexander suddenly died of unknown causes.

Sudden unexplained death in childhood (SUDC) is rare, with approximately one death per 100,000 children.

After taking her son Freddie for a walk, the mother of two returned home to see blue lights flashing outside her home and later received the devastating news of her son’s death.

“Alexander was a happy little boy. He loved cars, Peter Rabbit, spending time with family, being outside. He was just a really cheeky little guy who just made everyone smile,” Emily said lances live.

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“We had a nice one Christmas Day he danced to the dance with his younger brother Freddie Masked Singer the night before and he had a whole day to unwrap his presents with Freddie.

“He was just a bit tired and unwell with symptoms of abdominal pain that went on and off. We had a really nice family Christmas for which I am really grateful.

“On Boxing Day he was a bit unwell but no temperature or anything, nothing particularly serious. I went for a walk with Freddie and came back to the police car in front of my house, went straight to the hospital and he died later that evening. “

The welfare SUDC UK states that around 40 children between the ages of 1 and 18 die suddenly each year in the UK.

The cause remains unclear after a thorough investigation, including an autopsy; more than the deaths of young children from traffic accidents, fires or drowning, even though the child appears to be healthy.

The charity currently supports over 1,200 bereaved families around the world, including Emily’s family.

Shortly after Alexander’s death was confirmed, Emily, who is a lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, said she and her husband walked around in a daze for days.

“You’re just walking around in a daze to be honest, luckily our youngest gave us strength and got us out of bed — you end up blocking those early days, you just exist,” she said.

“You have to go through all the administrative stuff you never dream of doing as a parent, like sorting the funeral home, communicating with a coroner and waiting for a post-mortem.

“You don’t expect them to have to happen to a parent as a kid, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, and not having the answers makes it even more unbearable than the thought of possibly having to live with it.”

Since sharing the news of her son’s death, Emily said she has been “overwhelmed” by an outpouring of support.

“The kindness from strangers was overwhelming, people who had never met us did fundraisers for us, people who had never met us reached out to send messages.”

She also praised the medical team at Royal Lancaster Infirmary, who she said were “amazing”.

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Since the death of their son, Emily and Darren have worked with SUDC UK and have set up a charity fundraiser to fund research and raise awareness.

Donations can be made on their donation pagealong with more information on upcoming events.

Alexander's death was not explained


Alexander’s death was not explainedPhoto credit: MEN Media
Emily described Alexander as


Emily described Alexander as “a happy little boy”.Photo credit: MEN Media

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Bobby Allyn

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