Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Caring for Iain Was My Life. What Am I Going to Do Now? Dad Pays Tribute to Son

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Caring for Iain Was My Life. What Am I Going to Do Now? Dad Pays Tribute to Son

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK WELFORD

"HE was my life, there's nothing else, so I don't know what I'm going to be doing for the rest of my life."

Those were the teary words of a distraught dad who was left reeling after the sudden death of his disabled son.

Iain Blair died more than a week ago.

He shared a home with his dad Tom in Acklam Road, Middlesbrough.

Iain, 31, suffered from cerebral palsy and couldn't walk, dress or feed himself. He couldn't speak but could use his eyes to indicate yes or no.

Dad and full-time carer Tom, 67, said: "It's been such a shock to everyone. This has just come straight out of the blue.

"I never envisioned being in this position. I fully expected to be looking after him for years to come.

"I wake up crying in the morning and during the day I'm starting to break down. It's the way I am, I'm emotional. My life's totally changed. What I'm missing most is the cuddles in the morning and a last kiss at night."

Remembering Iain, Tom said: "I've had loads of phone calls and a lot of people have said the same thing, that his smile lit up the room. And that's how I will always remember him - he was always smiling. He was a beautiful kid.

"I loved him. I love all my kids but he was special because he needed me so much. He was just a nice lad and I enjoyed being with him. He loved life."

The pair enjoyed going on bus outings and usually ended up in Whitby, although had travelled to Newcastle.

"Everyone used to say it must be hard work, but it wasn't; it was an absolute joy," said Tom. "It was never a chore."

He said Iain loved being with other people and bore his disability with forti-tude. "He was a little fighter. I'm just upset that he's not around anymore."

Iain loved sport and father and son were members of the Middlesbrough and district motor club.

One of Tom's favourite pictures is the pair taken at the motor club in Coulby Newham.

He said: "That is my relationship with Iain in a nutshell. …

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