The shadow of Sowerby boy’s smile - how injuries from seven years ago claimed his life

Jack Illand
Jack Illand

A BOY whose smile lit up hearts across Calderdale died after suffering a fit caused by injuries he suffered in an accident six years before.

Jack Illand, from Sowerby, suffered an epileptic fit after being put to bed, an inquest heard.

As reported in the Courier, the 12-year-old had been left quadriplegic, brain-damaged, unable to speak and with impaired vision after he was hit by a car while he rode his bike in Ovenden Road, Halifax, in 2005.

But his death came out of the blue for his devastated family.

The inquest was told Jack had been suffering more seizures before he died and his medication had been increased to try to manage them.

He was put to bed as usual on the evening on August 24 last year and when his stepfather went into see him the next morning, he was lying on his side, blood coming from his mouth.

He was rushed to hospital but could not be revived.

Coroner Paul Marks said he had been “deeply upset and saddened” reading about Jack’s death.

He said the root of the problem was the accident in 2005, and recorded a verdict of accidental death.

The Courier reported last year how Jack’s family had seen some improvement in his movement since he underwent pioneering stem-cell treatment in Mexico and he had started using his voice for the first time since the accident.

Jack’s courage and cheeky smile touched many of those who met him, and his family say they were overwhelmed by the messages of sympathy that flooded in when he died.

After the accident, his school – Lee Mount Primary – started a fund and people queued up with money-raising ideas.

They eventually collected £17,000, which paid for the treatment in Mexico, which he underwent in 2008.

His mum, Linda, said Jack was always happy and had a brilliant sense of humour.

She said: “He was one of the most popular pupils at Highbury School in Rastrick, adored by staff and other pupils. and was one of the most popular kids there. All the staff adored him.”