Tributes continued to pour in from all over the world yesterday for little Jacob Jenkins, the toddler whose tragic death has touched the hearts of thousands.
Jacob passed away at 7pm on Wednesday, five days after choking on a grape at Pizza Hut, on Marina Way, Hartlepool.
The two-year-old lost his brave battle for life at the same time as hundreds of people released balloons at Seaton Carew seafront as a show of support for his family.
Jacob’s parents, Abigail Wilson and David Jenkins, had been at his bedside at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, and released their own balloons in a poignant tribute to their son.
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Yesterday, floral tributes were left for Jacob outside Pizza Hut and on Seaton Carew seafront.
Seeing all the pictures and videos of people gathering with the yellow balloons all over the town can only give the family some comfort in this difficult timeBen Picken
One message read: “To baby Jacob, RIP little man. You were a fighter til the end. Lots of love, Aunty Steph, Aunty Ashleigh and best friend Layton xxx”
Another said: “My gorgeous baby Jacob. Miss you so much, you are always in my heart. Love Aunty Jemma xxx”
And another message said: “You fought until you could fight no more. A little boy too precious for this world. I will cherish every memory I have with you. Sleep tight little one. Love Aunty Jade xxx” “
Last night, Pizza Hut confirmed that grapes had been taken off the menu at their restaurants across the country following the tragedy. The town’s branch, in Marina Way, remained closed yesterday.
A Pizza Hut spokesman said: “As a mark of respect, and in light of the tragic death of Jacob Jenkins, we have removed grapes from our menu with immediate effect.
“The well-being of our guests is always our number one priority, and our hearts go out to his family.”
Jacob’s story has touched people from across the globe, with messages flooding in from as far afield as South Africa and Australia.
Donations also came from far and wide for Jacob’s family after a page was set up online.
The Go Fund Me page had last night had over £11,000 pledged to it.
An update from Ben Picken, who set up the page, read: “I, on behalf of the family, would like to thank everyone who has donated and sent lovely messages so far.
“A special thank you to Natalie Cummings for the idea of the gathering with the yellow balloons at Seaton Carew and for Stephen Picton for pushing the idea forward.
“Seeing all the pictures and videos of people gathering with the yellow balloons all over the town can only give the family some comfort in this difficult time.
“A big thank you to Nathan Greathead and Peter Rooney for the collection that will be done at the Evening with Joe Calzaghe tonight at the Corporation Club, in Whitby Street.
“The town of Hartlepool has excelled once again.”
To make a donation, visit www.gofundme.com/4d64c9ks