The parents of a 12-year-old Kettering boy who tragically lost his life following an epileptic fit have said that they will continue to honour their boy by trying to ensure no other family has to go what they have been through.
The inquest into the death of Latimer Arts College pupil Alfie Stone concluded on Friday (December 10) with the coroner Jean Harkin returning a verdict that highlighted a number of concerns over the way in which epileptic children are treated by those involved in their care.
She issued a rare regulation 28 report to publicise some of the issues that were raised during the inquest and to prevent future similar deaths of children with the same condition.
During the proceedings Ms Harkin heard details of how two years after Alfie's death, EMAS paramedics still have no guidance on how to use a vital rescue medication, even after a independent serious incident report recommended they are given training after Alfie's death.
Now Alfie's parents Kevin and Lynette and his devastated big sister Maicey have shared details of their son's life including the touching tributes paid to him at his funeral service.
After Friday's verdict which followed a grueling two days of evidence during which Alfie's close family had to relive the events leading up to his death, Lynette Stone said: "I really don't know how we have got through this but we are fighting to make sure no other child or parent goes through this.
"Our lives have been torn apart, never get to see Alfie's milestones, loving nature, his smile, we are a family emotionally and mentally broken, his love for his family and friends has taken a huge impact on their lives."
In the weeks following Alfie's death local people raised £9,000 to pay for a fitting funeral Alfie's funeral. Thanks for the fundraiser, his pals were treated to waffles, milkshakes and a disco following the service.
At a packed Kettering Crematorium, in January 2020, celebrant Will Cooper said that PlayStation-mad Alfie was a 'social chameleon,' a gentleman and old beyond his years.
He said: "Alfie was a caring, kind and considerate soul.
"There are no words of comfort that can adequately cushion the shock of this precious child’s loss to us.
"There is no point in searching for meaning in such a death but know this, Alfie’s passing makes us all view afresh one of our most precious gifts; that of love.
"When we lose someone we love deeply, we will feel the pain like no other. It is the tears of love that flow the longest, the pain of love that aches the deepest, the thoughts of love that move us most, but we should also celebrate his life as we remember him with respect and happiness.
"I am certain Alfie knew full well how much his family loved and supported him and are so very, very proud of his achievements."
His grandparents Sue and Mike said: "From an early age, with the love, affection and information from Bub and Kev he learnt the true values of life and the ability to learn, retain and be inquisitive. Alfie’s cheeky smile gave him the ability to make friends easily. Alfie, will always be a star and we are so very proud to have been your grandparents.
"You always showed love, friendship and affection to everyone you knew, helping those who needed it if you could. You were a huge credit to your mum and dad.”
The congregation were told how Alfie loved school, excelling at Rainbow nursery, Millbrook infants, Millbrook Junior and Latimer Arts College and making so many friends along the way.
Will contiuned: "Alfie was a social chameleon, he had a true gift that no matter who his audience was he was able to adapt his approach to match that scenario or person without even thinking across all age ranges. It was this that prompted cousin Sharon to call him her little transformer.
"He loved being snug and liked nothing more than being in his PJs, dressing gown and slippers. Lynette and Kev said all he needed was a pipe and he’d be like a little old man cozy in the comfort of his own home.
"Every night he’d ask mum and dad how long for the sleep timer, meaning how long had he got on his Playstation or watching Youtube; he’d then call out ‘sleep timer’ for his mum and dad to go up and give him a hug and he rarely settled for just one hug.
"He told his mum and dad countless times a day he loved them and always on the way out to school.
"The house became an American Diner every school morning, coffee/latte and pancake or waffle with chocolate sauce was the order of the day."
At the ceremony, dad Kevin said: "Alfie you were strong beyond strong and made us so so proud every day. You brought us happiness and joy, were our little ray of sunshine and were always smiling.
"You did what made you feel good and never let anyone else change the way you wanted to do anything, never concerned with material things only feelings. You loved life and everyone in it, always helpful, kind, loving, compassionate, caring, thoughtful, inclusive and supportive of others.
"Our world will never be the same without you in it, your sleep timer has gone off little man.
"We hope there is enough ice cream and milkshake wherever you are."
People at the ceremony were told how Alfie had waited for his cousin Sophie on her first day of secondary school then searched for her every lunch time to check she was OK.
His sister Maicey also recalled one of her favourite memories when they strolled the entire length of Southend pier discussing life then Alfie asking 'actually can we get the train back as I’m really tired'.
His girlfriend Kayla said Alfie was her 'personal jester and her protector, adding: "He had a gigantic heart, a gigantic smile and could lift the weight of the world from my shoulders just by being there."
One of Alfie's best pals Sean took part in a tree planting ceremony on the Ise Lodge to mark his life in the months after his death and ensure that the community in which Alfie lived will never forget him.