A young family friend of tragic teen Lewis Close has raised more than £1,058 in his memory.
Eight-year-old Jak Shelton set himself a target of raising £300 after organising a non-uniform day at Peafield School in Mansfield Woodhouse, which he attends, but he more than tripled the total for the fund to create a permanent memorial to Lewis.
The 14-year-old of Mansfield Road, Edwinstowe, died weeks after returning home from a holiday abroad where he underwent an operation to have his appendix removed.
His death sent shockwaves through the community and has led to an outpouring of emotion and a series of fundraisers, including several football matches.
Jak’s mother, Kelly, has been friends with Lewis’ mum, Fiona for more than 24 years.
Kelly said: “With the devastating news of losing Lewis, I decided it was too close to home to not help raise money.
“Jak wanted to donate his pocket money to the fundraiser at the first football match.
“We decided to approach the headmaster to see if he would agree to a non-uniform day and each child wears something red and makes a donation. Jak was sponsored separately to dress up as Santa on this day. We were aiming for £300.
“Jak has actually raised £650 himself and along with the school’s donation of £408.60 he’s reached a total of £1058.60.
“Sponsors are still coming in and I cannot believe the generosity of the community and family and friends.
“He was very emotional at school when the teachers mentioned him in a special assembly.
“I can’t even start to explain how I’m so very proud of Jak for his efforts.”
Lewis Close took ill while on holiday in Turkey with his family and was forced to undergo a life-saving operation.
The Dukeries pupil spent days in hospital recovering before he was flown back to Britain.
But while at home, his condition deteriorated and he was eventually admitted to hospital again, where it was found he had abscesses in his abdomen, and had suffered from liver failure, kidney failure and severe septicaemia.
He spent three week in intensive care in Nottingham’s QMC before he passed away.