The family of a Mansfield toddler who would have celebrated his fourth birthday today say they have been overwhelmed by support after thousands of pounds were raised in the space of a day to help pay for funeral costs.
Caiden Cawte-Hull lost his battle with leukaemia in October, less than 17 months after he was diagnosed.
And while his family have understandably struggled to come to terms with their loss, they have been left stunned by the help to raise money for a fitting send off.
More than £2,000 was raised in just 24 hours on a Go Fund Me web page to help pay for a headstone, while Caiden’s Mansfield pre-school raised £350 to help with funeral costs. The funeral for the toddler, who lived with his mother Danielle and stepfather Jon on Osmaston Walk, was held last week at St Alban’s Church, Forest Town.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Caiden’s grandfather Pete Cawte said: “It’s been amazing, we just want to say a big thank you to everyone.
“With everybody talking about him and raising money, it’s been really comforting to us.
“All of these donations have really added up. The cost of funerals is not something you ever really think about. Flowers alone are expensive and a funeral service, even on a budget, is into thousands of pounds.
“Caiden was amazing, there was never a single day when he did not smile, even when he could not move or was upset, he would smile with his big toothy grin.”
Caiden had been ill with chicken pox in May last year when his condition deteriorated and he was hospitalised.
His family were given the devastating news that he had leukaemia.
Diagnosed at King’s Mill Hospital, he was then taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre where he suffered a seizure just minutes after arriving.
He spent weeks in intensive care but began to responded to treatment. He eventually learned to walk again and feed himself.
He was finally allowed home in September last year after months in hospital, but had to be re-admitted to hospital before Christmas due to infections and low blood platelets, a symptom of his illness.
Caiden then began to recover again and was even allowed back to nursery in April of this year and his hair began to grow back after finishing a course of chemotherapy.
He developed liver problems in the summer, but his death on October 8 was not expected.
“We’re still waiting on the coroner’s report, but the day before we had met at the hospital with doctors to discuss the next 16-week treatment plan,” added Mr Cawte.
“That night he began struggling for breath, and from that point he deteriorated until there was nothing they could do for him.”
The news not only devastated family and friends, but those at Cherub’s Children Centre pre-school, where Caiden had attended.
Manager Heather Nash, sad: “It came as a huge shock, I’d spoken to his mum about a week before and he was in hospital having tests done - it was just another hurdle to cross and he would have been back in the nursery.
“It was devastating, absolutely devastating and came out of the blue.
“His smile could light up the room, and he took it all in his stride. He never complained or moaned about anything and was a happy-go-lucky little boy.”