On the 4th March 2013 a beautiful bundle of joy entered the world – Thomas Jacob Tagg , our 2nd born who alongside his older brother Lucas would complete our family. Myself and Liz couldn’t have been any happier as we gazed at our 2 perfect sons.
Thomas developed into a beautiful, fun loving and caring little boy. Thomas was also mischievous, stubborn and fearless – his favourite trick was to climb on tables or hide underneath them, much to the annoyance of the staff at his nursery! He was a regular in the accident book because of his adventurous nature. Thomas once came home with an enormous black eye after falling and banging his face into the corner of a table, but it didn’t put him off, the next day he was back in nursery with a purple eye but still climbing on tables and jumping off the top of the slide. You see Thomas was a very independent little boy who just wanted to get on with things and in his own way.
One memory I have of Thomas that I’m now able to smile about is back in November 2014 when I took a week off work to decorate the house ready for Christmas. I was in another room and Thomas came running in urgently shouting “Look Dadda “ He dragged me back into the front of the house where he had drawn all over my freshly painted walls with felt tip and crayons.
In June 2015 sepsis robbed Thomas from us and ripped the heart out of our family. We didn’t see it coming and we didn’t get time to say goodbye.
After a couple of weeks we got told that Thomas had a high amount of the strep a virus in his system, we later got the final report that confirmed that Thomas had died of an overwhelming, invasive strep a infection with chicken pox as the underlying cause.
We had never heard of sepsis or The UK Sepsis Trust but we later found out about the charity after reading internet forums and articles.
After the initial and unimaginably hard first few months were over we decided that we had to work with the charity. Thomas is our inspiration and driving force behind the work that we have done so far. Thomas is far too precious for us to just let him slip out of mind, he deserves better than that and as his parents we will always do our best for him. Just because we can’t see or touch him doesn’t mean that we can’t still love him and be proud of him.
We opened a just giving page and started Thomas’ Legacy. Our hope is that we can not only raise money to help the charity to continue with their work, but to shout from the rooftops about sepsis in our local community. If any way at all we can help to save just 1 person from going through what we are then that would be a perfect way to honour Thomas.
Up to now we have raised over £16,000 since November 2015 and we have more plans in the pipeline. We have held an afternoon tea party , we have had local schools and business doing events such as cake sales , sponsored walks , Christmas jumper days , messy hair days , pie face challenges – too many to mention , the possibilities are endless . The biggest fundraiser however was on Thomas’s 3rd birthday in March. We decided that we would use the opportunity to hold a charity night at a local club. The idea was as well as raise funds and awareness we could also be surrounded by our family and friends on such a difficult day, this turned what should have been a horrible day into an extremely positive day and the wonderful support we received was absolutely overwhelming. We had 300 tickets to sell and they sold out within a few hours. We then emailed and called into local companies, people couldn’t do enough to help us, the community spirit was in full flow and before we knew it 3 months of endless planning had all come together and we had a room full of 300 people. We raised over £7,000 on the night from our auction and raffle and we had a big party with a live singer and dj until the early hours. This wasn’t just a charity night; it turned into a huge celebration of Thomas’s life.
On the same day the school that Lucas attends had organised a sponsored walk, all 200+ children along with the staff and parent helpers walked around the local estate in the snow and again the atmosphere and spirit was really heart-warming. £3,200 was raised , an outstanding effort.
We have a few more events in planning including the great north run that I will run with my brother, his girlfriend, her friend and my friend Paul – team sepsis!
We are hoping that our efforts will help the charity and other families and perhaps our fundraising work can inspire others into doing the same – we need to work together to slow down the number of deaths from this disease.
Stuart, Elizabeth, Lucas and Thomas Tagg .