Deborah Dixon – Cheshire

Aaron James Dixon born on the 23rd September 1987. Aaron was a much longed for child and I loved him beyond words the first moment I saw him.

Aaron was such a beautiful, happy and contented baby. He grew into a very handsome, cheeky, fun-loving boy. Aaron was loved by everyone he met and he always had a smile on his face. That love showed on the day of his funeral, where over 450 people attended.

Aaron was very active and growing up he was on the school football team, he took part in cricket, taekwondo, tennis, rollerblading and loved skiing.

My life changed on the 4th September 2011 – my precious, handsome, loving son was gone forever.

I cannot forget my husband Gary’s screams the moment he found Aaron in his bedroom. I remember running up the stairs and into Aaron’s bedroom, grabbing the phone and dialling 999. I remember speaking to someone but I couldn’t remember our address and then the phone being taken from me by our friend and neighbour, Becky Knight. I remember being sat on my daughters bed with Becky’s husband Ian whilst Becky tried to resuscitate Aaron, for that I will always be eternally grateful. I remember the paramedic kneeling down and saying “ I’m so sorry”. I remember wanting to slap him and say it wasn’t true and punch him for not saving Aaron. After that I really don’t remember much at all.

People arrived and the house was full, I couldn’t tell you who was there. I really don’t remember very much for a long time afterwards. I went somewhere within myself, a place I know other grieving parents would identify with.

Family and friends fed us and looked after us for those first few weeks, I don’t know what we would have done without them.

There will always be a special link with certain  people after that fateful night, Becky & Ian Knight, Abby-lee Ravenscroft, Scott Ravenscroft, Jamie Dearden, Michael Lee, Jadie Hassell, Michael Seery, Oli Daniels, Ben Dingwall, Billy Lane, Luke Whaites, Ryan Moroney, Matt Higgins, Woody Al-Zidgali, Joe Chapman, Josh Saville, Scott McNicol, James Barker & Luke May.

Aaron had a large circle of very close friends who have become like family to us. They are all instrumental in the fundraising for Aaron’s Memorial Fund. They are my link to my precious son.

Aaron’s friends were and still are a massive support to Gary, Hollie and myself. Along with Gary they helped organise and played a role in Aaron’s funeral. That day will forever be etched in my mind Thursday 15th September 2011, a beautiful sunny day. The day I lay my son to rest, a day no parent should have to go through.

Two months after losing Aaron we were told the cause of death – ARVC – a genetic heart defect. We were then advised by the coroner to contact our doctor and were also directed to the charity CRY – Cardiac Risk In The Young.

After months of testing for myself, my husband and daughter we were given the all clear. Then the bombshell was dropped, even though the hospital were happy with Hollie’s results at that time, she could still go onto develop the same defect. Hollie is now on a screening programme and is screened every 18 months.

Aaron was admitted to hospital on 2 occasions and on both occasions we were told the reason for his blacking out was due to dehydration, he was put on a drip overnight and released from hospital the following day. He was never given an ECG whilst in hospital, he may be here today if he had.

I want to keep Aaron’s memory alive and that is why I have set up a Memorial Fund within CRY. All the money I raise is used to fund screening days as I want to help save young people. No parents should have to go through the loss of  their child.

As parents we bring children into this world and our job is to love and protect them. I couldn’t protect Aaron from something I knew nothing about and that is why I am driven to try and save as many young people as I possibly can.

My life will never be the same again but I get up each day because I was also blessed with a beautiful daughter Hollie.

I go to work, socialise with family and friends, go on holiday and do all the normal things in life. I go through the motions of everyday life but most of the time it requires such an effort it is exhausting.

Time does not heal – life goes on but time stands still.

Deborah Dixon