A mum who touched the hearts of millions of Britain’s Got Talent viewers and moved judge Amanda Holden to tears as part of choir B Positive has opened up about the death of her six-year-old son.
Simonne Kerr lost her son Kavele in 2015, after he developed sepsis following complications arising from sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder.
Kavele was diagnosed with the disease at birth, after Simonne discovered she was a carrier of sickle cell during a routine screening while she was pregnant.
Kavele’s father was also a carrier, which meant their son had a one in four chance of developing the condition.
Speaking to Give Blood, Simonne, who is now a nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, London, said: ‘The sickling happened mainly in his tummy and as he got older, he was hospitalised one or two times a year, usually for a few days at a time.
‘Kavele was an active child and he went to school and led as normal a life he could with sickle cell disease.’
Recalling the day Kavele passed on October 1 2015, Simonne said: ‘I gave Kavele medication and monitored him throughout the morning. However, he became more lethargic and I felt his condition was not improving so I called for an ambulance and was told we would have to wait up to 45 minutes. An hour later I telephoned 999 again because Kavele’s breathing became more laboured.
‘Kavele went into cardiac arrest approximately 20-30 minutes after several ambulance crews started to arrive. He did not recover and passed away in hospital several hours later.’
Revealing that she joined the choir, created by NHS Blood and Transplant, to raise awareness of the importance of blood donation following Kavele’s tragic death, Simonne told the Daily Mirror: ‘When I’m with the choir, I look either side of me and see new friends who have been affected by the same disease which took Kavele.
‘They know the physical and emotional pain of it. We support each other and there’s a real family vibe. When we sing, we don’t just rattle through a song. We sing with real feeling that comes from the bottom of our souls.’