Gorleston Mum’s tribute to “smiley happy son”

A GORLESTON mother this week paid tribute to her “smiley, happy” teenage son, days after an inquest found he had tragically died of sudden adult death syndrome (Sads).

Overwhelmed by the kind response of his many friends, Lynn Palmer, 45, of Brasenose Avenue, pledged to create a lasting memorial to Joshua by raising funds towards a new minibus for Caister’s John Grant Special School which he had attended for more than 10 years.

Joshua had achondroplasia, or dwarfism, but his mother said he had never let it hold him back in any way.

Coroner William Armstrong found that the condition was unrelated to his death, putting the cause down to Sads, the adult equivalent of cot death.

Ms Palmer recalled the trauma of finding her only child dead in bed a week after he had celebrated his 18th birthday.

She said: “He was absolutely fine when he got up at 8.30am on the Saturday morning of May 28; he got himself a drink, had a kiss and a cuddle and a group hug with our black labrador Chester and went back to bed for a lie-in as he often did on a Saturday.

“I got on with hoovering and the rest of the housework; when I went to wake him at 2pm he was blue and I was told he had been dead for hours.”

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Describing Joshua as “my amazing little man”, she said he was always helpful, polite and impeccably mannered.

Although he also had to contend with speech problems and learning difficulties, his bubbly character was shown by the fact that “every picture taken of him is smiley and happy”.

Joshua, a student in the John Grant further education unit, had been looking forward to enrolling at Great Yarmouth College in September next year.

His mother said: “He was always changing his mind but I think he would have chosen to do a cookery course; he was fantastic with his cooking, making all kind of things from scones and flapjacks to muffins.”

She said Joshua also enjoyed playing computer games and loved surfing the internet.

“He loved swimming and would have a go at any sport,” she said.

Ms Palmer said Joshua’s wide circle of friends was reflected by the massive pile of sympathy cards she had received and the flowers sent to the funeral service at Gorleston crematorium.

She said she would be starting her fundraising with a sponsored head shave and the date would be announced in the Mercury.

John Grant school headteacher Gerald Hampson described Joshua as “a wonderful young man, polite with a lovely sense of humour”.

He said: “He threw himself into every activity at school whether it be the annual police football match or the school swimming gala.

“He was a determind young man and through his wonderful personality achieved many of his life goals.

“Josh was a very popular young man with both his peers and staff and he will be greatly missed by everyone at John Grant.”