Parents of boy who died in asthma tragedy hoping to prevent others from suffering same fate

Bury Times: Aaron Dearden Aaron Dearden

PARENTS left heartbroken by the death of their “lovely and cheeky” little boy are channelling their efforts into preventing further deaths from the condition which killed him.

Adorable eight-year-old Aaron Dearden, from Ramsbottom, suffered a fatal asthma attack last April.

His parents Rachel Turner, aged 31, and Colin Dearden, aged 37, are determined no one else should suffer the same fate and are fundraising to support charity Asthma UK.

Rachel and Colin spoke of the space in their lives “where Aaron should be” as the one-year anniversary of his tragic death approaches.

Aaron had just been named Star of the Week at Peel Brow Primary School and had been to see the headteacher three times in a day for his excellent work.

But two days later — on Sunday, April 28 — he had an asthma attack at his home in Poplar Grove.

Despite efforts to save Aaron, it is believed the attack triggered a cardiac arrest and he died at Fairfield Hospital later that morning.

Aaron, who has an 11-year-old brother, Charlie, and sister Millie, aged six, was diagnosed with chronic asthma at the age of two and had previously stayed in hospital after asthma attacks, but it is not known why this incident proved to be fatal.

Rachel and Colin, who now live in Lime Grove, hope to hold an annual summer funday in support of Asthma UK to increase training and improve research into preventing further deaths.

Colin said: “We do not want anybody to go through what we have been through and wish no child or adult would die from an asthma attack.

“I don’t think a lot of people realise how serious asthma can be, or what to do in an emergency — and a little bit of training could save a life.

“That’s what the big plan is on behalf of the little man.”

Aaron was so passionate in his role as lodge leader with the 2nd Ramsbottom (St Paul with St John’s) Beavers he was buried in his uniform with his cap by his side.

At his funeral, held at St John’s Church in Shuttleworth, members of his Beaver colony gave a guard of honour and sang in the service alongside Peel Brow Primary pupils.

On the morning of April 28, Aaron had come into his mum Rachel’s bedroom struggling to breathe.

After she took him downstairs to try to give him his inhaler, he collapsed in her arms.

Aaron’s brother Charlie called the ambulance, assisted Rachel with first-aid and ran next door to get neighbours, who were already on their way after hearing shouting.

Rachel said: “Charlie did his best to save his little brother and couldn’t have done anything else.

Colin added: “Charlie went from boy to man that day. We are so proud of him.”

After paramedics arrived, they worked on Aaron in the ambulance before he was traken to Fairfield Hospital with Rachel travelling in a car behind.

Meanwhile, police spent several hours searching for Colin, who had been staying with a friend, to tell him the news.

Colin said: “I still do not understand. He was on fire the day before, on top Aaron form.

“He was so full of life, so lovely and cheeky.

“I would like to thank the police officers who told me — they were like two rocks at either side of me.

“They said it was the hardest job they had ever had to do.”

Rachel and Colin thanked neighbours Mary and Seamus St John who helped with first-aid and praised Leah Winnard, Aaron’s best friend from whom he was inseparable.

The couple expressed gratitude to kindhearted neighbours who painted and decorated their house in Lime Grove which they moved into shortly after Aaron’s funeral.

They also paid respect to all those who attended the funeral and praised the Reverend Anthony Barnshaw for his “heartfelt and personal” service.

The couple also thanked Peel Brow Primary for providing food for the wake, Ramsbottom Tesco for their donation and Ramsbottom Cricket Club for the venue.

Rachel and Colin said it meant a lot when every team in the Bury and Bolton Junior Football League held a minute’s silence and a minute’s applause in Aaron’s honour because of Charlie’s close ties to Ramsbottom United FC.

They praised Sillett’s funeral parlour, the doctors and nurses at Fairfield Hospital and everyone who has already made donations to Asthma UK.

Rachel said: “There is a space in our lives. We just miss him, and Charlie and Millie miss their brother so much.”

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