MARCH 8, 2006 is a day that will remain ingrained on the memories of the Midgley family forever.
It was the day that their nine-year-old son Joe died while at school in Tutbury in freak circumstances.
Joe collapsed at the Richard Wakefield CE School, in Burton Street, as a result of an asthma attack.
But March 8 was already a significant day in the Midgley household before tragedy struck – as a year earlier the family had welcomed new-born son Jack into the world.
To mark the occasion of both the seventh anniversary of Joe’s death and Jack’s eighth birthday, the Richard Wakefield School, where Jack is now a pupil in Year Three, held a special assembly both in memory of Joe and as a celebration of Jack’s birthday yesterday, on what is always a difficult day for the Midgley family.
Every year the school reflects on the tragic incident that took place at the school in 2006, but this year felt it important that some of the focus was also on Jack, while also paying tribute to Joe.
Head teacher Saroj Bell said: “Jack is a special boy, he is such a happy boy and they are a happy family. He doesn’t want a lot in life and he accepts what he’s got.
“Jack didn’t know Joe, he was only one when Joe died. He’s learning and understanding more as he grows up and it’s important we celebrate him on his birthday too.”
Staff at the school remember some of Joe’s traits, including a word which he would often use, which was particularly poignant given the circumstances of his death.
Mrs Bell added: “Joe was a quiet little boy with a good sense of humour. He had a lovely smile and always liked coming to school.
“Mrs Bowering, a teaching assistant who worked with him, remembers him vividly. She said he liked playtimes and lunchtimes at school and also remembers that Joe had a favourite word – random - and his death was a random thing. Young children do not die very often, not in this country.”