Having not heard from her best friend Lydia Macdonald in days, concerned friend Jodi-Ann made the decision to drop by her home in Perth, Scotland.
Upon hearing no answer at the door, she peeped through the window only to find Lydia’s son Mason all alone.
“I can’t wake mummy,” said the three-year-old when he finally met her at the door.
Mason’s mother, just 28, had suffered a chronic asthmaattack, and was found dead in her bed. She was clutching her inhaler.
The toddler, unaware that his mum would never wake up again, survived by eating a block of cheese he had found in the fridge.
He was taken to hospital and treated for dehydration.
“We were absolutely devastated. The light she brought to every room had gone out,” Lydia’s mother Linda tells The Sun.
“They think she passed away on Sunday or Monday night, meaning Mason was alone with her. I have no idea what he thought or what he was going through.”
“Lydia was so strong and independent, she passed that onto Mason and somehow he managed to feed and water himself for all that time,” the 58-year-old went on.
Mason, whose father had died suddenly when he was just eight months old, is now under the care of his loving grandparents.
“We tell him every day that now his mummy is with daddy and they’re both the brightest stars in the sky – and despite everything he’s doing fantastically.
Lydia was a long-time sufferer of the condition having been diagnosed at age two. She would go on to be hospitalised up to five times a year in her teenage years, where mother Linda says she was often sent home still experiencing breathing difficulties.
“She would be sent home an hour after being on a nebuliser, despite her complaining that she still couldn’t breathe,” recalls the grief-stricken mother.
Lydia was rushed to hospital in the year before her death. "She’d phoned for an ambulance but couldn't finish her sentence," said Linda.
"Thankfully the paramedics made it to her. She had stopped breathing and had died, but they managed to resuscitate her. I would beg her to come live with me and her dad but she was so independent and she didn’t want to let asthma control her life."
Mason’s grandmother has now started a campaign in her daughter's name to raise awareness of the potentially fatal risks associated with asthma.
"We hope by sharing Lydia’s story it can save at least one other person’s life."
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Australian Women's WeeklyYesterday 11:36am