Devastated Sydenham family appealing for help with funeral costs

Robin Lawson with his son Thomas.
Robin Lawson with his son Thomas.

A family from Sydenham who have been left devastated after a sudden death are appealing for help with funeral costs.

Last week Robin Lawson from Sydenham died very suddenly at the age of 48. He leaves behind his wife Becky and son Thomas, aged 10.

Becky and Robin Lawson with their son Thomas a few years ago.

Becky and Robin Lawson with their son Thomas a few years ago.

Robin had a cardiac arrest, following a brain bleed known as a subarachnoid haemorrhage.

Becky, Thomas and their neighbour used CPR and managed to bring back a heartbeat for a while, but Robin tragically passed away on August 11.

Becky said “Robin was a very kind man who would do anything for anyone.

“Each day is so hard and I miss everything about him.

“When I go downstairs in the morning, I expect to get a text asking me to make a cup of tea, as he did every day.

“Thomas and I are absolutely devastated.”

Before this tragedy the family were also faced with a difficult few years when Thomas was diagnosed with bi-retinoblastoma - a type of eye cancer - in both his eyes when he was just five months old.

Thomas had an operation at Birmingham Children’s Hospital in 2008, which limited his sight in his left eye but he was able to go to school and activities like other children.

Back in 2012, when Thomas’ family spoke to The Courier about her son’s battle with cancer, she said: “We were absolutely devastated. Thomas was an IVF baby and we had waited a long time to have him.

“We had been married for 13 years and were on our 13th IVF attempt when we had him, and he was born on the 13th - so we reckon 13 was his lucky number.”

After being nominated for a Cancer Research UK Little Stars award by his grandfather in 2012, Thomas, who was four at the time, was presented with a special star-shaped trophy by the charity, a £50 gift card and a certificate signed by celebrities.

After Robin’s sudden passing Becky and her family have been left to face paying for a funeral without any available funds,

To try and raise some of the funds Becky has set up a crowdfunding appeal on Justgiving to try and give a fitting funeral for her husband.

On her Justgiving page Becky said: “We would like to give Robin a funeral but we have no funds as this has happened out of the blue and he was taken far to soon at the age of 48.

“Myself and Thomas, his 10-year-old son, are devastated.

“If anyone could help it would mean the world to us. He was a loving father, husband, son in law, brother, uncle, nephew and godfather. He would help anyone at anytime.”

Warwick-based charity Evelyn’s Gift has stepped in to try and help Becky and her family as much as they can.

Evelyn’s Gift was created in memory of seven-year-old Evelyn Smith, who died in 2013 after having a viral and bacterial infection of her upper respiratory tract, which doctors had missed opportunities to diagnose and treat properly.

The charity’s aims are two fold - to train as many people as possible in CPR and lifesaving and to also provide little acts of kindness to people in need.

Helen Smith, Evelyn’s mum, said “The sudden and unexpected death of someone very close is extremely traumatic.

“I know from experience that the support of others can make all the difference in terms of surviving the early days of grief and trauma.

“When the person that died is also the main wage earner, the financial burden is immense and so this is a practical way in which our community can help, by reducing this worry.

“Evelyn’s Gift will be able to meet part of the cost, but they need more funds to cover even a basic funeral.

“Every donation, no matter how small, will provide comfort to the family at this dreadful time.”

To donate to Becky’s fundraising page go to: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/becky-lawson