Amamoor mum Helen Garrett has started the Jake Garrett Foundation to help Gympie region families that lose a child.
Amamoor mum Helen Garrett has started the Jake Garrett Foundation to help Gympie region families that lose a child. Tanya Easterby

Help to grieving families

THE courageous mother of a Mary Valley boy who died 12 days after crashing a ride-on mower last year has raised almost $1500 to help the bereaved parents of a Gympie toddler who passed away recently.

Helen Garrett lost her 12-year-old son Jake on March 18, 2012, after a horror accident on their Amamoor farm left him with extensive head and internal injuries.

Because Jake died in Brisbane Children's Hospital, Helen and her family had the support of the bereavement co-ordinators who provide families with around-the-clock counselling.

But she says there is no such support for Gympie families that lose a child.

"If your child dies in Gympie in an accident there is no support from anywhere."

Helen intends to go at least some way towards rectifying that situation through the foundation she has established in her son's name.

"The aim of the Jake Garrett Foundation is to help families who have lost a child, financially with funeral expenses," she said yesterday.

"There is no other charity that just looks after donations for funerals. If a child does not die of a disease (looked after by a charity) or in a large hospital in Brisbane, there is no financial support.

"Gympie has no support groups for families who have lost a child."

Through a simple but effective Facebook campaign run via the page set up by Jake's sister April last March, Helen has so far raised $1366 for the family.

"I hope to extend the foundation in the future to counselling for the recently bereaved family in the form of a support group," she said.

It was the kindness and generosity of people towards the Garrett family when they were trying to deal with Jake's accident and then death that inspired Helen to help families going through the same thing.

"I know that these donations will mean a lot to the family because when we were helped by family, friends and strangers my heart was filled with love and support that our boy meant so much to others as well."

Gympie Times


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