Eight-year-old who lost his dad writes book to help other children cope

Danny Bailey

Danny Bailey pictured with his father Mark and mother NIcky - Credit: Ivan Wolf

An eight-year-old boy has written a book about how he coped with the death of his father.

Danny Bailey and his mother Nicky came home from visiting a relative in August 2014 to find Mark Bailey, 39, dead at their home in Heacham.

Mr Bailey died from a rare genetic heart condition called sudden arrhythmic death syndrome.

"It was awful," said Mrs Bailey, 45, "We just came home expecting him to be there. Danny was five and three-quarters at the time."

Just over two years later, Danny had what his mother calls a "lightbulb moment" over breakfast.

Danny Book cover

The cover of the book Danny Bailey write at the age of eight about how he coped with the death of his father - Credit: Danny Bailey

""He just realised he was happy, when he never thought he could be happy again," she said. 

"Danny didn't believe that he could ever feel really happy again, so when he found that he could, he wanted to let other children know that they could too and to give them hope in knowing that things can get better in time."

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The book, called Getting Back on Your Feet After Losing a Loved One,  is filled with coping techniques and tips which Danny has picked up since his father's death. 

It has been illustrated by Sandringham-based author and illustrator Hannah Wyman-Naveh.

Danny's tips to grieving children include making an idea ambulance, which is a first aid kit for when you feel sad. Danny got an old first aid box and put ideas written on little bits of paper inside that might help him to feel better like ring a friend, listen to music or play football.

He also made a memory jar full of different-coloured layers of salt, with each representing a different special memory.

Mrs Bailey said she had mixed feelings about the book.

"It's exciting for Danny to achieve this," she said. But if somebody wants to buy it, it means they're in a horrible position like we were." 

"This book is different because it's written for children by another child who had been in a similar situation and understands."

The 32-page book can be pre-ordered from Waterstones for £6.99 and is due for release on February 15.