A POPULAR nine-year-old boy died on his sister’s birthday after suffering a severe asthma attack.
Owen Wagner, from Barrow, was celebrating his sister Tegan’s sixth birthday at his grandma’s house in Risby when, at about 4.15pm on November 27, he started having an attack. It was the first one he had suffered since New Year’s Day.
When ambulance crews arrived they found him suffering a cardiac arrest. He was taken to West Suffolk Hospital where he died, two days before his mum’s 38th birthday.
His funeral was held on Tuesday.
Owen’s mum, Tracy Asker, said her son had been excited about a puppy he knew Tegan was getting as a present.
Tracy said he told Tegan: “This is one birthday you’ll never forget.”.
Owen also had a 17-year-old sister, Jade, and a 15-year-old brother, Ryan, with whom he shared a room.
Tracy, a care worker, said: “I’m a bit numb to be honest, I still think he’s going to come running through the door.”
She added: “He was cheeky, full of useless information and he was a proper little comedian – he would have us in stitches all day long. He had learnt to play poker and was really looking forward to playing with us this Christmas.”
Tracy said she was overwhelmed by the number of people who attended Owen’s funeral at Risby Church and by all the messages she had received from his friends on Facebook. “He seems to have had 40 best friends,” she said.
At Westley Middle School, where Owen started as a pupil in September, fellow students signed a book of condolence.
Headteacher Nick Templeton said: “We didn’t say it had to be done in silence but remarkably the children went into the classroom, there must have been 60 of them, and you couldn’t hear a pin drop, they were so respectful.”
As a tribute, images of Owen are being used to create a friendship corner at the school.
Mr Templeton said: “All of the staff who taught Owen said the thing they remember is the smiley images – he was a really cheerful child and he seemed to make friends easily. From talking to the children, the thing that came through very strongly was that he was a good friend – if any of the children were lonely he would look after them.”
Owen previously went to Barrow Primary School, where the community gathered for support and comfort following his death.
Headteacher Alison Earl said: “Owen genuinely enjoyed school. He had a happy approach to life and enjoyed taking part in all sorts of activities.”