DOU­BLE TRAGEDY

Jak and his great gran­dad die within hours

The Chronicle - - Front Page - By CHRIS KNIGHT Re­porter christo­pher.knight@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @C_M_Knight

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

Jak Fada and his mum Ash­ley Tom­lin Jak hav­ing fun with dad Tony

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