A Montrose couple are raising money to pay for a lasting tribute to their little boy who sadly died last year.
Four-and-a-half-year-old Leylan Kai Fort passed away on April 27, 2015, and his parents, Leanne (38) and Wayne (48), are asking the community to help them realise the funds to buy a bench to place in his favourite play park to mark the anniversary of his death.
The seat, which will be painted red, will cost around £1000 and will sit in the disabled play area at the Seafront Splash on Montrose’s beach front.
To raise the funds needed his parents have organised a charity bingo night at The Picture House family bar in April.
Little Leylan died on the morning of Monday, April 27, after going downhill over the course of the weekend and two weeks before Christmas his parents were told he passed away from dehydration, gastroenteritis and the norovirus.
Leylan was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of two-and-a-half. His parents believe he also had autism, but doctors never tested him for the condition.
His mum said: “He was such a lovely little boy, he was always happy and smiling.”
She said when he came home from school on Friday, April 24, he was “fine” but deteriorated rapidly over the weekend.
The youngster wouldn’t drink water or juice and didn’t eat solid foods - he only drank nutritional shakes, but his mum says he was struggling to keep them down, so she rang the NHS 24 helpline for advice.
She said: “I was told to wait an hour and give him a little bit and keep trying that until he kept some down but he kept bringing it back up.”
The couple say they rang NHS 24 several times over the course of the weekend and were told each time a doctor would not be sent out.
Leanne said: “I ‘phoned my sister and her children had the same symptoms as Leylan. That made me feel better. It gave me reassurance.”
But by the Monday morning the youngster had worsened.
His mum, who by this point had also come down with similar symptoms, said: “As the light came through the bedroom I could see dark marks under his eyes. I took him into the living room and it was like someone had put boot polish under his eyes.”
She called NHS 24 again at 6am: “I was told it would be quicker to wait a couple of hours until my doctors was open for them to come out and see Leylan than for NHS 24 to send a doctor out.”
Leylan’s parents rang their local doctor a couple of times. “When we told them he was breathing erratically and his pupils were dilated a doctor arrived 10 minutes later. She walked in the door and said ‘we have a very sick child here’ and called an ambulance,” said Leanne.
As little Leylan started to deteriorate further the doctor called for a trauma unit to meet the ambulance outside his house. Sadly, Leylan did not make it to hospital.
His mum said: “As the paramedics carried him down the stairs he collapsed before they got to the bottom. They tried to resuscitate him for about 45 minutes and when the trauma unit turned up they said they were sorry but there was nothing they could do.”
Wayne added: “All weekend my little boy was dying.”
Leylan’s parents told us they will be complaining to NHS 24 for failing to send out a doctor.
NHS 24’s Medical Director, Professor George Crooks, said: “NHS 24 would like to express sympathy to Leylan’s family for their loss. Patient safety is always our first priority and we would welcome the opportunity to discuss any concerns that Leylan’s family may have with NHS 24 directly with them.”
The couple say they received little to no support when their son passed away. After doing some research, Leanne found The Compassionate Friends - a charity which supports bereaved parents after a child dies.
She said: “They were able to give us the details of a volunteer in Montrose who we could contact on an evening, another in Dundee who we could contact during the day and a number to call any time.
“They were able to pay for a weekend away in Nottingham for us. We needed that weekend. We’d like to be able to give another family the chance to have a weekend away.”
As well as raising cash for a bench in Leylan’s memory they will also be collecting money for The Compassionate Friends at the bingo night on April 15 at The Picture House. People will be asked to perform a dance when they get a full house. Doors open at 7 for a 7.30pm start.