The heartbroken mother of a teenager found dead at home today spoke of the frantic moments she desperately tried to give her son the kiss of life.
Blackpool mum Kerrie Taylor discovered her 15-year-old son Shannon Brooks collapsed on her bedroom floor.
She rang 999 and then battled to get her son’s heart working again as ambulance staff told her over the phone how to give him CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
Breaking down in tears, Kerrie, 38, said: “Shannon was on the floor by my bed.
“I phoned the ambulance and they talked me through CPR and giving him the kiss of life. You don’t expect to have to do that on your own son.
“As soon as I saw him I knew he’d gone, but I gave him the kiss of life.
“I kept going until the ambulance crews arrived, and then I just cradled him in my arms.”
Shannon was pronounced dead at his home, on Blackpool’s Grange Park estate, on New Year’s Day – just hours after attending a party with friends.
A post mortem examination proved inconclusive, and police are now waiting for results of more tests before they can find out what caused his death.
Mum-of-four Kerrie, of Dawlish Avenue, said Shannon, a former Collegiate High School pupil, was undergoing dialysis three times a week for a very serious kidney condition.
She added: “Shannon hated hospitals, but he kept on going for medication and dialysis so he could get a transplant and put all this behind him.
“But that wasn’t to be. He was more poorly than anyone knew and his body just gave up.
“At least he’s not in any pain any more.”
When Shannon was born, Kerrie said his kidneys and bladder were not formed correctly, which meant he needed an operation when he was just six-months-old.
When he was 11, and a pupil at Boundary Primary School, he collapsed, and doctors discovered his kidneys were failing. He had been receiving treatment ever since.
Kerrie said: “He was a very strong character, even though he was very, very poorly. He’d never let on how bad it was and he never let it stop him enjoying himself.
“He had a real zest for life, and for someone of 15 years he had done a lot of things – he was fearless.
“He thought he was invincible and he lived each day like it was his last.”
Kerrie, who is also mum to Brim, 19, Reece, 18, and Kegan, 13, added: “All his mates have said he was the best friend they ever had and he was just so well loved.
“He was just one of the strongest, most brave people there ever was. He was amazing.”
Kerrie’s friend, Gemma Buckley, organised a balloon launch on Grange Park on Friday to help the estate’s younger generation say their goodbyes.
She originally organised it as a small affair but when she mentioned it on social network Facebook, hundreds of people said they would be there.
Gemma said: “I just thought it’s a nice thing to be able to do.
“We collected things for a keepsake box too – just things people can give to Kerrie and the boys for different and new memories of Shannon.”
The balloon launch sparked Gemma’s wish to do something to help Kerrie and her family pay for Shannon’s funeral which will be held at Carleton Crematorium on Thursday, January 30, at 2.30pm.
Already Gemma, 30, of Rodwell Walk, Grange Park has organised a raffle and table top sales full of unwanted Christmas gifts raising more than £1,000.
She said: “Everyone has just pulled together to help make things easier for Kerrie and her boys, and to make sure Shannon has a good send off.”
Kerrie said: “I can’t believe it. It’s so humbling to have this much support and I can’t thank everyone enough.
“People who I don’t even know have been offering their support – it’s amazing and its very comforting. I never knew Shannon touched so many people.”
Detectives classed Shannon’s death as “unexplained” and, last week, confirmed they were looking into whether drugs had been involved.
A police spokesman said investigators were awaiting for the results of toxicology tests before they could establish a cause of death.