Kyle Thompson

My darling grandson, Kyle, died suddenly and unexpectedly on the 15th April 2008 just four days before his 14th birthday on the 19th April 2008. Kyle collapsed while playing out in a children’s park just in front of his mother’s home (on a very steep hill near Sowerby Bridge, Halifax).

Kyle’s mother, my only child Sarah, and Kyle, my only grandchild, had just been living back together for one year. Due to unforeseen circumstances Kyle had been living with my partner Julian and I from being 6 years old up until the age of 12 when he returned to live with his mother.

My daughter and her partner rang us on Tuesday 15th April to say they were in an ambulance on the way to the hospital and that Kyle had collapsed earlier in the park. My daughter said to me that “it is different this time because he is not coming round”.

We arrived at the hospital at 9.45pm – Kyle had just been pronounced dead. We could not believe it. We sat with him and he looked perfect. Hopefully Kyle went into a dead faint at the park and never came out of it. Apparently a team of 8 staff worked on him full out.

Funny thing was that Kyle stayed with us over the weekend and had a great time. He was leaping about with the other children on their bikes.

On Sunday afternoon he wanted to go swimming at the local baths before going home to Mummy. I now regret that I did not go into the pool with him. He was like a man possessed and did not swim but just dived and swirled from the highest diving board (he was a good swimmer). He did not stay in the pool as long as normal and looked pale and tired when he came out.

He wanted to go to McDonalds for a chicken sandwich and then I took him home. As he alighted from the car he gave me a big kiss (as usual) and his last words were (as usual), “”I love you grandma””. That was Sunday and he was dead by Tuesday.

Kyle went to school as normal on Tuesday, met his mum after school, went for a hair-cut and then he twirled her around on the swings in the children’s park where he was to die a few hours later.

When my daughter rang me I was watching “Waking the Dead” on the TV at about 9.05pm – I will not be watching that programme again and wondered if Kyle died in the ambulance at that time.

Nothing could have ever prepared us for this sudden death. We would never have thought in a million years that after the weekend we would never see him again.

Kyle was looking forward to his 14th birthday and he desperately wanted a petrol driven bike. My partner said “no, he will kill himself”. I now wish I had bought him one a few weeks before he died.

Kyle was an outgoing, fun loving, caring, very affectionate and seemingly very fit boy. He participated in many sports from rugby, football, boxing, horse riding, cricket and anything else that he took a liking to. After he went to live with his mother he still visited us every weekend. He was very popular, confident and outgoing, with many friends, both boys and girls. In fact boys and girls were constantly knocking on the door before and after school. It used to seem a bit of a pain having 5 boys calling for him on route to school and wanting croissants or whatever, but I would give anything to have those mornings back again, and when I returned from work and had loads of boys and girls knocking on the door for him to play in or out.

On one occasion Kyle and three friends went for the bus to school, and boys being boys they stood in a dip in the road which due to the weather was like a lake. The bus came and of course they were soaked from head to foot, so they came back to my house and I fixed them up with dry clothes and took them to school – all before I went to work.

Kyle liked nothing more than associating with friends, sporting activities, eating out, and he loved his foreign holidays. I suppose Kyle packed in more than most people in a lifetime and he enjoyed every minute. Also, he loved his music and computer, but above all his dog (Tai – Mum’s dog), and Charlie and Walter – our cats. He also loved Blackpool and Scarborough.

The poem below is penned by his lifelong friend Lois who lives across the road from us. She was a little younger than him but they remained close friends over the years and played together all the time. Lois was aged 11 when she wrote the poem and was looking so forward to going on the bus to school with Kyle when she left the Junior School.

We arranged for two Belgian Black Friesian horses to carry his coffin through Sowerby Bridge to the church and then on to the cemetery. School asked if the horses could drive the coffin by the school lay-by but we could not do this because of the hills. So we took Kyle’s coffin in a car by the school and 300 pupils from his year stood outside, you could not hear a pin drop. The church was full of his school friends from his new and old school, plus junior school, it was packed. The horses were draped in a Manchester United towel and trimmed up in red and white. Lots of the flowers were red and white. Kyle was a big Man Utd fan and used to go to games with my partner Julian, and my cousin Eddie who is a lifelong supporter and used to get them tickets. Kyle also leaves my sister Cathy who Kyle used to spend many a great weekends with – she lives in Scarborough. Kyle also leaves his great-granddad Leslie.

Kyle was interested in everything and was a lively boy. He used to love going out to his favourite Italian restaurant called Prego. He could eat for England, had a slim body, drank water and ate all the correct foods – i.e. fruit and veg – because he liked them. Two weeks before he died I took him for his dental check-up and the Dentist said “this is about as good as it gets, I would like to see all children with teeth like this”. I thought he was as healthy as he could have been.

I noticed in one of the other stories that a father said he could not fry an egg for a long time as he used to enjoy these with his son. Kyle used to have omelettes as a snack, and it has taken me a year to use that pan again, as it was bought especially for him a la Delia Smith and I can remember he only wanted ham and cheese on, so I had to go rushing to the nearby shop if we had run out of ham.

However the interesting point is that Kyle’s father Richard died suddenly and unexpectedly in a street in Halifax at the age of 18 years – almost six months before Kyle was born. Richard was one of five children and there is only one remaining who is female with children, they are now being checked out.

When Kyle was born I was a little concerned so I obtained a copy of Richard’s death certificate. The cause of death was Myocarditis and I took the death certificate to the local GP and the local hospital. Kyle suffered blackouts from the age of 6 up until he died (he had about 8 blackouts during this time). He usually suffered these blacksout at school (I never witnessed one) and he was always taken to hospital from school. I was always told, correctly, that Myocarditis was not hereditary.

However, Kyle’s pathology report erred on the side of ARVC / Myocarditis [the former of which can be hereditary]. Kyle had a blackout on the way in to a Man Utd match 2 years before he died and he was taken to two different hospitals in Manchester, and was checked and at the time nothing untoward was found.

Another point I would like to make is that the pathology report made reference to the finding of small lymphoid aggregates as notable and that the finding of such small clusters is unusual. The report went on to state “I am not aware of any published data or studies performed on normal heart tissue in this age range”.

Kylie is greatly missed by family and all his friends, and would have been 16 years old on 19 April 2010.

CRY and the support I have had has been fantastic. Thank you.

I will be doing my upmost to raise funds to screen young people in the future.

Finally, I find it totally devastating to learn of so many boys and girls the same age as Kyle dying so tragically.

Anne Marie Thompson – Kyle’s Grandma