Tragic Tyler's friends and family raise incredible £21k for charity in memory of brave tot who attended Hitchin's Little Kickers
PUBLISHED: 17:48 18 November 2016 | UPDATED: 17:55 18 November 2016
The father of a tragic two-year-old boy who died from sepsis which started as a sore throat has thanked people from Hitchin and the wider community for supporting a gala black tie ball which raised more than £21,500 for charity.
The Tyler Reader Charity Ball saw a packed house pay tribute to the youngster who regularly took part in Little Kickers football sessions at The Priory School in Bedford Road before he first fell ill with a sore throat and temperature this time last year.
The young Liverpool fan’s parents Stephen and Lisa Reader were told to give him pain and fever relief – but as his condition worsened doctors diagnosed him with group A streptococcus, an infection linked to tonsillitis.
Devastated dad Steve and Tyler’s step-mum Rebekah Lobb decided to organise a series of fundraisers over the past year culminating in Saturday’s event attended by 185 which marked the first anniversary since Tyler’s untimely passing.
Brave Steve told the Comet: “The evening was a fine balance of sadness, hurt, joy and celebration as people honoured Tyler’s memory by raising an incredible amount, which will be donated to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and the UK Sepsis Trust.
“We are completely overwhelmed by the response to the evening, it felt like such a fitting tribute to Tyler.
“He was such a special boy and brought so much joy to our lives that it has been important to us to focus our energy on trying to achieve something positive from such a tragedy.”
Many guests were close to tears as they listened to how the life threatening condition took young Tyler’s life.
Hitchin resident Ben Grouse, whose son Sebastian attended Little Kickers along with Tyler, said: “We got to know Tyler really well during his time at Little Kickers so it was a pleasure to attend in what was a fitting tribute to a wonderful little boy.”
Family, friends and wellwishers have raised more than £40,000 in the past year with organisers already looking towards next year’s event. If you’re interested in helping to support this wonderful cause by sponsoring the event email firstname.lastname@example.org.