Rest in peace: Deklan Babington MacDonald, six, died in hospital after a bizarre apparent mishap with a penguin-on-a-leash toy, his family confirmed
Deklan Babington-MacDonald’s mother should be brushing the six-year-old Queensland boy’s hair each morning before taking him to school.
Instead, Lauren Babington has told loved ones she will keep a cutting of his locks as she prepares for the Year One student’s funeral.
Deklan, six, died in hospital on Friday afternoon after his life support was switched off following a bizarre mishap with a penguin-on-a-leash toy purchased from Sea World on the Gold Coast.
The ‘gorgeous little boy’ who ‘lit up a room’ had picked up the toy from Sea World just days before the tragic accident ended his life.
Daily Mail Australia revealed Deklan’s tragic death on Monday evening and now friends have told how the clan is preparing to celebrate his too short life.
Ms Babington has told loved ones she may distribute locks of his hair to those closest to him, and keep a lock for herself.
She has reportedly said that Deklan’s full head of hair was her ‘favourite part of him’. Ms Babington herself said the tragedy remains too fresh to speak about publicly.
The toy in question has been pulled from the shelves at Sea World and seized by police for a potential coronial investigation. Relatives believe a coronial inquest should be held into Deklan’s death.
Lauren Babington, mother of late Deklan, has told friends she is planning to keep a lock of her son’s hair, and may distribute some locks to loved ones as a memento of her ‘gorgeous’ boy
Last Wednesday, Deklan’s family announced the tragic news that Deklan’s life support would be turned off within 48 hours, following a desperate, days-long fight to keep him alive at Queensland Children’s Hospital.
On Monday, a spokesperson said: ‘Deklan passed away on the 30th of April, at Queensland Children’s Hospital, surrounded by his closest family, extended family and some close friends of the family.’
The family are ‘reading the beautiful messages of support and love, and appreciate all the kindness and donations.’
Deklan’s cousin Lea Williams described the apparently deadly fault in the toy that caused his tragic death. The penguin toy had a leash which was ‘made stiff by a pole but the pole came out,’ Ms Williams said.
‘It turned into basically a long rope with a loop on the end. In a very short amount of time Deklan became entangled.’
Deklan’s mother discovered the little boy injured at home in Nerang. She called for help and his grandparents then rushed from their nearby home to perform CPR.
Deklan was transferred to Gold Coast University Hospital and later airlifted to the intensive care unit at Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane.
Doctors said his chances of survival were slim at the time and his loved ones agreed to turn off his life support later that week.
Deklan got ‘entangled’ in the toy’s leash, family claim, and severely injured himself. He was unable to be revived and family members said goodbye to him on Friday, April 30
The ‘penguin-on-a-leash’ toy allegedly at the centre of the incident was bought by the family on a trip to SeaWorld only days ago
Pictured: An image of the toy Deklan was playing with when he suffered the injury
The family has raised more than $15,000 via fundraising platform MyCause.
The money will go toward Deklan’s memorial ‘and allow Lauren to make an important keepsake with Deklan’s ashes when the time is right’.
Donors have penned poignant tributes to the little boy.
Tare Wright said: ‘Fly high little mate. My heart goes out to your loved ones. But you’ll forever live on in their memories.
Sarah M said: ‘Deklan’s beautiful little soul will be forever remembered as a ray of sunshine.’
His family haven’t shared detailed information with the public about his death.
They have warned trolls ‘it is not appropriate to harass or judge the family for not disclosing more information about the accident’ – given both the tragedy and police and coronial investigations.
Gold Coast Police have said there were ‘no suspicious circumstances’ found in their initial investigation of the accident. A Queensland Police Service spokesman said there was nothing further to add.
It is understood police have seized the penguin toy.
Deklan’s mother Lauren Babington discovered Deklan ‘entangled’ in the toy and called for help, but he was unable to be saved
SeaWorld has withdrawn the toy from sale and the consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, is working with state authorities to examine safety issues.
Village Roadshow Theme Parks, which operates SeaWorld, released a statement in response to questions from Daily Mail Australia last week, saying staff were ‘distressed’ to learn about the tragic accident potentially involving a toy from Sea World.
‘We need to understand the circumstances around what has occurred and will be fully cooperating with any investigation,’ a spokesperson said.
‘As our number one priority is always health and safety, we have removed the toy in question from sale at this time. We will also be reaching out to Deklan’s family to offer support.’
Deklan, who was just about to start his second term of grade one, has been described as a ‘gorgeous boy’ who could light up a room
A post on the ‘Supporting Deklan’ Facebook page last Wednesday advised his life support would be withdrawn in 48 hours as he was ‘beyond recovery’.
‘As you can understand this is a devastating time for the family so please respect their privacy and understand they won’t be able to talk on the phone.
‘They are reading the messages of support and appreciate all the love and kindness shown by the community.’
A fundraiser initially set-up to raise funds to aid Deklan’s recovery will now be dedicated towards his funeral. It had raised more than $14,000 as of time of publication.
‘The money donated will go towards Deklan’s memorial and allow Lauren to make an important keepsake with Deklan’s ashes when the time is right,’ the Facebook post said.
Ms Williams has described Deklan as the much-loved ‘baby of the family’ and said they want police to launch an investigation.
Deklan’s aunty Caity Macdonald first broke the sad news to her friends and family last Tuesday afternoon.
‘It is with a heavy heart that we share this news, but on Sunday my nephew Deklan was involved in a horrific accident that has left my sister (his mum) and my family absolutely devastated’, she wrote on Facebook. ‘He is in ICU in a critical condition.’
Lea Williams described her cousin as a ‘gorgeous boy’ who could light up a room.
‘He’s definitely mischievous but he’s so so sweet. He’s so loved, just doted on’, she told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
Deklan’s family said appreciated all the love and kindness shown by the community following news of his accident
Deklan was playing with a toy in his bedroom on Sunday, when he suffered a life-threatening injury
He was just about to start his second term of grade one at William Duncan State School and was said to have loved riding his scooter and going to the beach.
‘Deklan isn’t just a grandson or nephew you would see every now and then’, his aunty Ms Macdonald told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
‘He is embedded in our lives, with sleepovers at Nanna’s every weekend and hangouts with the aunties all the time.’
She said Ms Babington has had to overcome the challenges of being a single mother ever since Deklan was born.
‘What has happened is a horrible tragedy that no one could ever see coming. We are all broken and praying for our little man,’ Ms Macdonald said.
Gold Coast police told Daily Mail Australia there were no suspicious circumstances in their initial investigation of the accident, having been called to Deklan’s home last Sunday.
The principal of Deklan’s school, William Duncan State School, would not comment when approached by Daily Mail Australia but all students have been offered access to counselling.
‘As a school community, we will rally together and support each other, while respecting the family’s privacy during this most challenging of times,’ wrote Principal Regan Gant in a letter to parents.