The fund set up to support the family of Jacob Jenkins has reached more than £10,000 as people around the world show their support for his family.
Messages of grief, love and support have been pouring in from Hartlepool and beyond for little Jacob Jenkins and his family.
The two-year-old died at 7pm last night, days after choking on a grape in Pizza Hut. He stopped breathing for 30 minutes.
Yesterday, he passed away in the arms of his parents, Abigail Wilson and David Jenkins. He died as the people of Hartlepool gathered to show their support, with hundreds of yellow balloons released at Seaton Carew.
His parents, who had been at his bedside at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, broke the tragic news shortly afterwards. The couple released their own balloons in memory of Jacob in a poignant tribute.
Abigail said: “Jacob grew his angel wings at 7pm as people let off their balloons. We chose this time to let him go as we knew everyone would be thinking of him and have him in their thoughts. There was nothing we could do.
“Jacob died in mine and his dad’s arms with his family by his side. We then went outside and released our own balloons.”
Overnight, a wave of messages have been posted on social media remembering the toddler, and praying for his family.
On Twitter and Facebook, people have been using the hashtags #PrayForJacob and #RIPJacob.
Family friend Ben Picken, who set up the online fund to support Jacob’s parents, said on the fundraising page: “Baby Jacob gained his Angel wings at 7pm on Wednesday October 14 2015, the exact time the amazing Hartlepool people and far beyond set off their yellow balloons.
“His parents now need time to grieve properly and come to terms with losing their baby boy.
“It is now with a heavy heart I write that this fund will now go towards Jacob’s funeral costs, and gives his parents a bit of space to not have to worry about going back to work for the foreseeable future.”