Heartbroken couple searching for answers following the sudden death of their young son

Daily Echo: Thomas Law Thomas Law

A HEARTBROKEN couple, who tried for six years to have a baby, are searching for an answer as to why their young son died suddenly in his sleep.

Emslie and Sally Law, who underwent four rounds of fertility treatment before conceiving their only child Thomas, have spoken of their quest to find out more about the death of the toddler.

The couple, from Kings Furlong, Basingstoke, put their 22-month-old son to bed on March 14. Hours later, they went to check on Thomas, and found him lifeless.

At an inquest into Thomas’ death, North East Hampshire coroner Andrew Bradley found the cause of death to be sudden infant death syndrome, associated with chicken pox.

Mr Bradley said it was not clear how significant the chicken pox was in the toddler’s death.

The syndrome, commonly referred to as cot death, is a term used for the sudden death of an apparently well baby, the cause of which is not known.

Now Mr and Mrs Law want to see if genetic testing can explain why Thomas died. They have allowed samples of Thomas' body tissue to be used in a medical trial looking into Long QT Syndrome, a rare in-born heart condition.

Mr Law, 37, told The Gazette: “At Thomas' funeral, the Reverend Jo Stoker very eloquently said that human beings are frail and not all the answers are out there.

“But however sad and upsetting, for us it would be nice to find answers. But we know no answer we find can bring him back.”

He added: “After his death, there was an immediate desire to know was there any fault on our behalf. Did we not look after him enough, or did we do something we should not have done?

“But there was nothing. Maybe in the months and years to come there will be solace in finding an answer. But there will also be despair and helplessness knowing there would have been nothing that would have changed the outcome.”

Mr Law said he hoped that by taking part in the trial, a pattern might be established that could help them and other parents in the future.

Mrs Law, also 37, said: “He was our precious boy from day one. He was a very content boy and at nursery they said he was happy to play with himself and other children.

“The bit that is that most painful, and the bit we miss the most, is how he was after he was one years old. We loved watching him learning to walk and talk, and his character was starting to come through.”

Mrs Law said that friends and family have shown their support by raising more than £8,000 already for the Sudden Unexplained Death in Children charity.

A fundraising day for the charity will take place between 12.30pm and 3.30pm on Saturday, June 8 at the Oakridge Hall for All, with a raffle and cakes sales.

They have also backed a petition which calls on genetic testing to be offered in the UK in all cases of sudden infant death syndrome.

Mr Law said that he hoped in coming forward he would show parents in similar situations that they are not alone, and added that other parents should not panic following their story.

He said: “We do not want people to try and imagine what we are going through and be scared. Maybe just take from it not to be upset when your child is grumpy or in a mood. They are kids - give them a cuddle and be thankful you have got them. Just be good parents.”

To sign the petition on genetic testing visit http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/genetic-testing-to-be-offered-in-all-cases-of-sudden-unexplained-death

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