'He brought so much joy' – Dad of two-year-old Tyler who attended Hitchin's Little Kickers keeping his memory alive after sudden death
PUBLISHED: 11:23 28 January 2016 | UPDATED: 11:23 28 January 2016
The father of a two-year-old boy who died from sepsis triggered by a bacterial infection that started off as a sore throat has spoken of his son’s experience as he launches a bid to raise money for the hospital that treated him in his final hours.
Little Tyler Reader regularly took part in Little Kickers soccer sessions at The Priory School in Hitchin.
He began the Saturday morning sessions at the Bedford Road school when he was 18 months old and was last there just a week before he died.
When the young Liverpool fan first fell ill he complained of a sore throat and had a temperature.
After seeking medical advice parents Stephen and Lisa Reader were told to give pain and fever relief.
But as the tot’s condition worsened doctors diagnosed him with group A streptococcus, an infection which is linked to tonsillitis but in more severe strains can be a killer.
Tyler was taken to the Luton & Dunstable Hospital and put into a medically-induced coma as doctors tried to save him, but he then had two heart attacks.
A team of specialists from Great Ormond Street was despatched from Luton to help, and then transferred Tyler to the London children’s hospital for further treatments.
But two more heart attacks meant that there was little that could be done. Stephen said: “The only option was a heart and lung bypass, and they said his chances were only 25 per cent.
“We gave the go ahead, but the infection in his lungs gave him septicaemia, and he was taken from us at 11.23pm on Friday, November 6.
“We’re devastated. I feel completely sad and empty. Tyler was a huge part of my life, and he’s gone. It’s unimaginable. It’s still sinking in.”
But family, friends and well-wishers have rallied to his charity cause, and have already raised more than £8,000 since Tyler’s funeral.
That has promoted Stephen and Lisa, both 33, and Stephen’s partner Rebekha Lobb, 27, to launch a fundraising campaign in Tyler’s memory.
Stephen said: “Tyler was a happy and fun-loving lad. Everyone loved him.
“He brought so much joy, happiness and a little bit of cheekiness to everyone.
“He was only with us for a short time but he will never be forgotten.”
Tyler’s Little Kickers’ coach Paul Stokes added: “Everyone was devastated.
“He started with us at 18 months old. He had boundless enthusiasm and a cheeky grin which always made our mornings brighter.”
To support the campaign visit www.justgiving.com/Tyler-Reader or follow @Remember_Tyler on Twitter.