Grieving mum still reads her dead son's texts
A MOTHER whose 29-year-old son was found dead at their home says she still charges his mobile phone to read his messages so that she can relive his final hours.
Sue Allseybrook's son Steven, pictured right, died of an undetected heart condition in June while she was away on holiday in Spain with husband Graham.
Their son had complained of headaches to his colleagues days before he died at home in Canterbury Street, Chaddesden – 11 days before his 30th birthday.
An inquest found he died of sudden adult death syndrome, a condition in which the heart stops for no detectable reason.
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An inquest was told that no problems with Steven's heart were found.
Mrs Allseybrook, 60, said: "You don't realise how many people love your son until he's not here.
"I can't let go. I still charge his phone to see his calls and messages from his last hours. I need them.
"I do believe that everything happens for a reason. I just don't understand why."
Mrs Allseybrook keeps a memory bag of items belonging to Steven to remind her of him. She said: "There's his ring in there, his earring and sympathy cards from everyone, too.
"There are two little motorbikes that were on the wreath, and the book of condolence."
Also among those items is Steven's mobile phone.
She said: "I've read messages from people that were texting him saying 'Answer the phone' the day he died.
"There are also general messages to his friends and girlfriend. I'm not ready to delete them.
"I don't read them as much now. At first, I used to have his phone in my bag all the time. It's a comfort."
Mr and Mrs Allseybrook were on holiday in Benidorm when Steven was found dead on the living room floor of the family home on Tuesday, June 26.
A friend and colleague had arrived early in the morning to pick him up for work but there was no answer, the inquest was told.
He returned later that day and, when there was still no answer, he called the police, who later found Steven dead.
Mrs Allseybrook said: "My brother phoned me to tell me about Steven. It was about 9.30pm in Benidorm.
"We went numb. We were just in a trance. We packed our cases but I can't remember doing it.
"My sister and her husband were absolutely brilliant. "There was nobody on reception when we were at the hotel so they arranged everything for us. They got us on a flight home the next morning.
"I don't know how we would have got back without them."
On the evening the family returned, Mrs Allseybrook said that more than 50 people gathered outside their home to pay tribute to their son. She said: "They all came with a box of Red Stripe – that was Steven's drink."
"Everyone has been so supportive and I'd like to thank them all. The cards and the messages from everybody helped me to get through it."
Steven worked at company GA Drainage, in Stoke-on-Trent, for 13 months before his death.
Mrs Allseybrook said: "He was a rogue but he was my loveable rogue.
"We were going to put him in for a driving course to learn how to drive.
"If he had to be up at 6am for work, he'd get up 5am just so he was ready.
"He was an entertainer. He lived his life to the full and he was a daredevil."
Samples of Steven's heart tissue were sent to specialist Dr Mary Sheppard at the Royal Brompton Hospital, in London. She said that the results appeared to be normal, with nothing to suggest a reason for his death. Mrs Allseybrook said: "There's heart trouble on my husband's side of the family.
"Graham who is now 66, had a heart attack when he was 41, in 1987, and another six years later.
"And Graham's brother, dad and nephew have all died from heart attacks.
"We said to the lads in the family that they must go to the doctor's and get checked but Steven wouldn't go."
Mrs Allseybrook began writing a diary as a way of coping with her son's death. She said: "I'd go to bed crying and I'd wake up crying."
She said that, from speaking to Steven's friends and looking at his phone, she knew where her son was before his death and imagined what he would have been doing on a weekly basis.
"Every week since he died I've relived Monday and Tuesday," she said.
"On the Monday before he died, I know pretty much everything he was doing. He went to Newcastle and Stoke with work.
"Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was Monday and Tuesday, which was hard. I've got to stop reliving these two days.
"At first, I would look at the clock every hour but now I can probably go for about six hours, so I know I am improving.
"I lost my mum nine months before Steven died and we've had 10 bereavements in 11 months – both friends and family.
"It was a bad year and I'm glad to see the back of it.
"This year can't be any worse. There are good memories which are starting to come through.
"We can't run away from our memories."