Eastbourne family speak of their heartache after teenage son unexpectedly dies

The family of a teenage boy from Eastbourne who died suddenly have spoken of their heartache.

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 3:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 4:12 pm
Callum and best friend Richie SUS-201102-132347001

Callum Leverett, 18 and from Iden Street in Hampden Park, died unexpectedly on February 2.

He had been at his friend’s house the night before playing computer games. He returned home in the early hours of the morning and went to bed, but when his mother Marie Hollis went to check on him later in the afternoon she found her son dead.

His family believes he choked during the night.

Callum was studying carpentry at Sussex Downs College Eastbourne and loved his job at Connolly Construction SUS-201102-130024001

Marie said, “That one particular night we just didn’t hear him come home. I didn’t know he was home until the morning when his shoes were at the front door. I thought he was sleeping, I touched him because he didn’t wake up after hearing my voice. He was cold and I knew he had gone.

“Reality hasn’t hit yet. I’m trying to accept he won’t come back through the door again. I didn’t think for one minute I’d ever be making preparations to say goodbye to him. Never did I ever in my life think that I would ever have to keep telling myself ‘my boy’s passed away and he’s not coming back’.

“He was loyal, caring, generous, everything I hoped that he would be. I’ve never been prouder. He was my first born, my baby. He was such a character, such a good kid. He knew how to make me laugh.

“He was doing an apprenticeship in carpentry at Sussex Downs College in Eastbourne and had a part time job at Connolly Construction that he loved. He was due to finish college in May and was doing great at it.

Callum with mum Marie and siblings Max and Lexi SUS-201102-130003001

“Although he’s not going to be here, his memory will never die out. If I could bring him back in a heartbeat I would, but I can’t and that’s what’s hard. Anything he needed anything he wanted, within reason, I could do for him, but this is the one thing I can’t do.

“I am trying to accept he won’t do his silly little gangly dance through the front room again, or leave all the lights on in the middle of the night, or leave all his wet towels on the bathroom floor. I don’t think for the rest of my life I will accept the fact that he’s not going to be here. He was a very well-loved individual and I’m very proud to call him my son.”

Marie spoke about Callum’s friendship group and how they, and the community, have rallied together to show their support.

An online JustGiving page for Callum’s family raised £11,000 in its first day and the total is currently at £12,715.

Marie said Callum knew how to make her laugh SUS-201102-130035001

Marie said, “I am blown away. His friendship group from when they first met are all good boys and girls. They all come from amazing families. Little did I know, that as much as they are all hurting, how quickly they grew up and the maturity they are showing, the loyalty to each other, they are all helping each other through it.

“The money will take a little bit of the burden off me, Callum’s dad Gareth, his brothers Max, Ethan and Dylan, his sister Lexi and the family. They’re incredible, each and every single one of them.”

Claire Diamond, Callum’s aunt, said, “We have suffered a loss that is indescribable. He has left a massive hole in our lives that nobody can fill.

“Callum was a kind, caring, gentle, loving young man. We as a family will ensure his memory lives on.”

Marie said she is very proud to call Callum her son SUS-201102-130014001

Callum’s friend Richie Shaw said, “Cal is more than just a best friend. He was a brother. He is one of a kind. He brought a completely different type of humour to the group, always made everyone laugh, always livened up the parties. It will never feel the same without him in our group. If you imagine our group to be a puzzle, Cal is the missing piece and it is incomplete without that last piece. He will never be forgotten.”

Another friend Henry Stevens said, “Ever since me and Callum first met we just became best friends from the start. We spent every birthday together and had an inseparable bond. You could never find a more loyal person.”

Another friend Archie Turnbull wrote a poem. It reads, “From the endless nights at mine, where immortal memories lay, we are now left with deep sorrow but your name will never fade. I will follow your legacy for every hour in a day. For as long as I live, your name will never be in vain. I love you my brother, help us through this pain.”

To donate to the JustGiving page set up for Callum’s family, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/callumleverett