Heartache as popular Blackpool dad of toddler dies unexpectedly

A Blackpool dad described as a 'larger than life' character has died suddenly aged just 29 - leaving behind a toddler son who will never get to know him.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 9:06 am

Daniel Suddaby, who grew up in Layton but was living at Norkeed Court on Queens Promenade, Norbreck, died in his sleep.

In his short life, he had overcome many health challenges after being born with craniosynostosis a rare condition affecting his skull which went on to affect his mobility and speech.

As a toddler himself he needed to undergo major and intensive surgery to realign his skull and although this was successful, Daniel needed further surgery at the age of 15, which again proved a success.

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Then, at 21 he started to suffer from epilepsy, thought to have been brought on by tissue scarring on his brain, and also had to cope with autism which often made human interaction a challenge for him.

But despite his health setbacks, Daniel held down a job in the cafe at Sainsbury's on Talbot Road, excelled as a talented singer and actor on stage with two local amateur operatic societies and became a proud father to little Oliver with his partner Natalie McKenna, also 29.

So Daniel's sudden and unexpected death stunned those who knew him and brought heartache to his family

It is thought he may have suffered an epileptic seizure but this has not yet been confirmed by the neuropathologist and Daniel had not been suffering from fits, only much milder episodes known as 'absences'.

Daniel Suddaby and little Oliver
Daniel Suddaby and little Oliver

His mum, Tracey Stringer, 55, who now lives in Singleton, said the family was devastated and she has now set up a GoFund Me campaign to raise some funds for little Oliver, who aged two-and-a-half.

Sadly, the youngster has inherited the same condition as his dad and Tracey wants to do all she can to help him.

She said: "It is so hard to put into words how we feel about Daniel's death, - obviously we are all devastated.

"It was totally unexpected and shocking, we'd never been told he'd have less than a normal life expectancy - his medication was working well.

"We're not certain how he died yet, they are still carrying out tests.

"Daniel was definitely a larger than life character and when he was on stage, singing and acting, he really shone.

"He had his difficulties but he never let it get the better of him, he wanted to live an independent life, he wanted to work for a living and he was so proud to be a dad.

"What makes it so difficult is that Oliver will not have his dad to look out for him - despite his own difficulties Daniel was determined to do his best for Oliver.

"That's why I set up the GoFundMe campaign, just to try and do what I can to help my grandson and Natalie."

Daniel, who has two brothers, was a little star from an early age when he won a Gazette Hero competition aged just three, after the story of his first operation first came to light.

He appeared in numerous shows with Thornton Cleveleys Youth Theatre and then Thornton Cleveleys Operatic Society (TCOS), with roles including The Lion in the Wizard of Oz and more recently joined St Annes Amateur Operatic Society (SAPOS).

And in memory of him, both societies are joining forces to stage a sponsored walk next month.

TCOS stated in a post on its Facebook site: "Dan was a member of TCOS for 12 years.

"Dan’s sense of fun was legendary, a cheeky grin always there, but it was his incredible tenor voice that “wowed” his fellow performers and audiences alike. So we decided to join the two societies together, to honour him and raise money for his son, Oliver.

We are doing a sponsored walk on Saturday July 31 , starting at 10am.

"If anyone wants to join us, you can start at SAPOS rehearsal room (Headroomgate Road) and walk to the Comedy Carpet or start from TCOS rehearsal room (Ritherham Avenue, Cleveleys) and walk to the comedy carpet."

Dan's funeral will be held at Carleton Crematorium at 11:45am on June. 23

Tracey says are all welcome to attend outside the chapel to hear the service.

So far the GoFundMe campaign has raised £2,552 of £10,000 goal.

To help with the fundraising campaign, visit: https://gofund.me/34c1670d