Jak and his great grandad die within hours
HE was a soccer-mad schoolboy whose infectious smile lit up a room.
But now the family of tragic Jak Fada have been left devastated at his sudden death from a ruptured artery at the age of just 10.
South Shields FC superfan Jak died on November 6 at South Tyneside District Hospital just hours after complaining of chest pains.
The death of the popular Westoe Crown Primary School pupil was the second tragedy to hit the family within a day, following the death of his great-grandfather James Tomlin 22 hours before.
Now, heartbroken mum Ashley Tomlin has opened up on the agony of losing her son.
She said: “This was a total shock and out of the blue. We thought the pain in his chest might have been from losing his great-grandad.
“It’s ironic it was his heart because Jak had the biggest heart. He has given me the best 10 years of my life.
“In 22 hours, everything has been taken away from us. Our whole world has just caved in.”
Jak underwent an operation at just three months after being diagnosed with a hole in his heart, and continued to have check ups at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital until he turned five.
As soon as he was able to walk the youngster would always be found with aball at his feet, and his passion for the game was inspired by his hero Alan Shearer.
Known as ‘captain’ among his team-mates, Jak played as a goalkeeper for the school team and was a regular at South Shields’ weekly training sessions.
The avid Mariners fan was a season-ticket holder who went to Wembley with great-grandad James for the club’s famous FA Vase success in May.
Ashley, 32, said: “Jak just had an infectious smile that lit up the room and was the centre of everyone’s universe.
“From the moment he could walk he would be kicking a ball. He was just a mummy’s boy. Jak said the trip to Wembley was the best day of his life. I’ve got videos of the day and you can just see it in his little face.”
The family home on Coleridge Avenue, Westoe, is now filled with bouquets, condolence cards and pictures of their beloved boy.
South Shields FC held a minute’s silence ahead of their match on Saturday, while Jak’s school Westoe Crown Primary is due to close today to allow staff and pupils to bid their final goodbyes at his funeral.
The wealth of support has touched mum Ashley, dad Tony Fada, 29, and grandparents Keith and Gill.
Ashley added: “It’s absolutely heartbreaking - the whole town has come to a standstill and I can’t thank everybody enough for their support, they’ve been amazing.
“The school is literally heartbroken, they’ve had counsellors in and the boys don’t want to play football.
“It just shows us how special Jak was. He was South Shields through and through and called himself a little Geordie.”
Jak is set to make his final journey to Mariners Park by a horse-drawn carriage for his service today.
He will be laid to rest at Harton Cemetery, and friends and family will release balloons in his memory.
LOVING SON OF 10 DIES FROM A RUPTURED ARTERY
Jak Fada with his greatgrandfather James Tomlin and above with his mum Ashley
Jak Fada and his mum Ashley Tomlin Jak having fun with dad Tony