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Heartbroken mum's devastation at son's death and how running helped her to cope

PUBLISHED: 14:23 03 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:36 03 October 2019

Family holiday in Florida in 2016. Picture: Dawn Pammenter

Family holiday in Florida in 2016. Picture: Dawn Pammenter

Archant

A mum who lost her son to a muscle-wasting condition nearly a year ago, has told how the family is still struggling to come to terms with his death.

Jamie was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) at the age of three. Picture: Muscular Dystrophy UK.Jamie was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) at the age of three. Picture: Muscular Dystrophy UK.

But Dawn Pammenter, 47, from Wimbotsham, has signed up for her fifth 10k Newton Cambridge Town and Gown race in memory of her son Jamie, and says running has helped her through this devastating time.

Jamie was born on September 17, 2003 and was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) at the age of three.

The teenager suffered a severe heart attack days before his 15th birthday, which resulted in brain damage so severe that he passed away in his sleep on October 13, 2018.

Mrs Pammenter, who works at the University of Cambridge, said: "Jamie was a happy, bubbly cheeky young man, always smiling and loved a good laugh, he also loved a good hug and cuddle. He never let his disability get to him.

Dawn Pammenter, 47, is running the 10k Newton Cambridge Town and Gown run in memory of her son Jamie who died in in 2018. Picture: Muscular Dystrophy UK.Dawn Pammenter, 47, is running the 10k Newton Cambridge Town and Gown run in memory of her son Jamie who died in in 2018. Picture: Muscular Dystrophy UK.

"As a parent it was very heartbreaking seeing Jamie slowly deteriorating with his condition.

"Getting through it was very hard but we had great support from family and friends."

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Jamie's death came as a complete shock to the family, who were left devastated by the news. His 12-year-old brother Luke took it particularly hard.

Mrs Pammenter said: "My husband was putting him to bed when he said he was finding it very hard to breathe, and with that he had a massive heart attack and was taken to Addenbroke's Hospital in an air ambulance where he was put in intensive care for a month.

"To lose Jamie this way, we as a family were completely devastated and kept thinking this could not have happened to us, to this day we still can not believe that this happened to our son and we miss him and love him so much.

"Luke was very close to his brother and still finds it very hard to come to terms with. Luke lost his best friend."

The mum-of-two, who started running five years ago, will run in Jamie's memory on Sunday, October 20 for Muscular Dystrophy UK. Mrs Pammenter has completed two London marathons and raised more than £5,000 in the past.

Mrs Pammenter said: "I love running and running has helped me through this tough time."

Jessie Keighley, Muscular Dystrophy UK race director, said: "We really loved meeting Dawn earlier this year when she was one of our London marathon participants. It takes real courage to undertake any of these running events."

To donate visit the Muscular Dystrophy UK website.

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