Mum pays tribute to 'everyone's sunshine' Kaiden, eight
- Credit: Archant
The mother of eight-year-old Kaiden Griffin has paid tribute to her son after he died from heart failure, describing him as the "sunshine in everyone's world".
Thousands of people who followed Kaiden's journey with congenital heart defect (CHD) have shared their messages of support with his family, including mother Kyra Welch.
Kaiden, who grew up in North Creake, near Fakenham, lived in Holt and was diagnosed with an abnormal heart, lungs, and veins when he was just days old.
Born on June 29, 2013, Miss Welch and her former partner, Kieron Griffin – Kaiden’s dad - were first told at the 20-week scan that their unborn son had a hole in his heart and he would need to have an operation to fix it.
At just three days old, the tot underwent open heart surgery but doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London dealt the devastating news that no parent ever wants to hear – they could do no more to help Kaiden.
The youngster, who was affectionately nicknamed 'Mini Attenborough' after his love of the natural historian and presenter, was diagnosed with the life-limiting heart condition CHD, and doctors told his parents to "make some memories".
Miss Welch said: “We were told the situation was too complex for him to undergo an operation, and that the problem was too severe to fix and surgery was no longer an option.
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“In 2014, we were told to take him home and enjoy the time we had left together. He made it to eight.”
The 27-year-old, who now lives in Wicken Green, near Fakenham, with her partner Jordan Walker and their one-year-old daughter, Rosalie, described her son as “the sunshine in everyone’s world”.
She added: “He was just the happiest and most loving boy. He was opinionated, stroppy, happy, wonderful. He was everything.
“He was also a great big brother. They were besotted with each other. He would read to Rosalie – he loved to read – and he would love two or three stories read to him before his own bedtime.”
Five weeks ago, Kaiden began to deteriorate and Miss Welch said she noticed he had become more tired and withdrawn. He was taken for tests but just over a week ago he began to “go downhill very quickly”.
“It was his time to go,” she said.
“Even though I knew this would happen at some point in the future, I was still not prepared for how much this would hurt.
“While there is nothing which prepares you for being a parent, there is definitely nothing which can prepare you for losing a child.”
Thousands of people from Norfolk and further afield had followed Kaiden’s journey via the Facebook page, Kaiden’s Big Fight. Miss Welch thanked everyone for their “words of love and support”.
The horse-loving pupil, who attended Holt Community Primary School, adored ponies and was lucky enough to spend time with his very own, Harry.
“He really enjoyed life and everything about it. He was especially happy when he saw all of us coming together as a family, especially at the end.
“He was a huge fan of David Attenborough. He would sit and watch all of his documentaries. He knew so many things about animals, wildlife and the planet that even I didn’t know.
“People were always astounded by everything he knew.
“We called him our ‘Mini Attenborough’.”
A Go Fund Me fundraising page has been set up to help raise money for Kaiden’s “big send-off”.
So far nearly £6,000 has been raised. Any leftover funds will be donated to East Anglia's Children's Hospice (EACH).