Letchworth family launch urgent funeral appeal after baby's tragic death on New Year's Eve
PUBLISHED: 06:58 16 January 2020
A Letchworth family touched by tragedy have launched an urgent appeal to help put on "the best funeral possible" after the sudden death of their baby on New Year's Eve - when he was only three weeks old.
Mason Roper was described as a "happy, healthy, beautiful baby" when he was tragically found unresponsive in his cot by dad Bill on December 31.
"I can't even put into words what has happened," said aunt Jade - speaking on behalf of her sister and Mason's mum, Mollie. "It has destroyed our family. Everyone is completely devastated. Mason went to sleep and never woke up."
The family are now appealing for help in covering the costs of Mason's funeral, and have set a target of £5,000.
"I will never be able to get that morning out of my head," Jade said. "I got out of bed at around 9am as normal. About an hour later, I heard Bill shouting like mad.
"I rushed upstairs and saw Bill crying behind the door. Mason was laid on his parents' bed. He was blue, almost purple, bleeding from his nose, and his body just felt cold.
"I tried to start resuscitating little Mason but, if I'm being honest, I think I knew at the time he wasn't alive."
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Mason was taken to hospital, but he was later confirmed to have passed away at only three weeks old.
"I can't explain the gaping hole losing baby Mason has left in our family, or how heartbroken his mum and dad are feeling right now," Jade told the Comet. "No one should ever have to bury their child."
Mason is currently awaiting his post-mortem at St Thomas's Hospital in London, which means that his family have not been able to arrange a fixed date for the funeral.
"Mollie and I don't have any money - we both come from the care system, and Mollie has only just turned 18," said Jade.
"The government provide you with a very basic sum to cover some of the costs, but it is not enough. Baby Mason never got to live a full life - please help us make sure he has the best funeral possible."
If you wish to donate, visit the Roper family's GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/f/baby-masons-funeral.
So far, more than £1,700 has been raised.
The Roper family are also hoping to use any additional money to support Sands - a neonatal death charity that seeks to support those affected by the sudden passing of a baby.