The heartbroken family of a Dundee toddler who tragically died after suffocating under a teddy bear have gathered to remember the “tiny tot with the big character”.
They also hope to use the first anniversary of the death of 18-month-old Connie Rose to highlight their awareness campaign, Think Safe, Sleep Safe.
Connie Rose suffocated overnight on March 5 last year.
She was found by her mum, Dexy-Leigh Walsh, just after 8am the following morning.
The toddler had suffocated underneath a teddy bear stuffed down the side of her bed to stop her falling between the mattress and the wall.
Dexy-Leigh wrote on social media at the time: “On March 6 2018 at 8.01am, my life changed.
“I have been blaming myself as she passed away due to suffocation as I had packed down the side of her bed with teddies and placed a big one on top of the smaller teddies to stop her from falling down the side of her bed.”
Following her daughter’s death, Dexy-Leigh, 24, launched an awareness campaign to warn other parents about the dangers of putting their children to sleep with stuffed soft toys in their bed.
A year on, and the family are determined to make sure Connie Rose did not die in vain.
As they gathered at their Linlathen home to remember the tot, grandmother Vicky Walsh, 42, said: “This is a very sad time for all of us.
“We have gathered as a family to celebrate the life of Connie Rose and to remember her and the lovely little character she was.
“We also want to use the occasion to highlight the campaign.
“If this can save the life of one other child, then Connie Rose won’t have died in vain.
“We want this to be her legacy – that other children are safe because of what happened to our family.
“It was very difficult to get to grips with what happened to Connie Rose. We were all left heartbroken.”
Vicky said Connie Rose was discovered by her mum, who carried out CPR.
Paramedics were also unable to save the toddler and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
She was buried on March 21, with mourners releasing hundreds of pink balloons in her memory.
Vicky said: “We used to call her our Bonnie Connie.
“She was a wee soul with a big character.
“She was always smiling and laughing and we all miss her dreadfully.”
Vicky said that already she was aware the campaign had touched many other people’s lives.
“We have had people approach us and say as soon as they read about Connie Rose they made sure they removed toys from their child’s bed,” she said.
“That’s all we can ask for, that some good comes out of our tragedy.”
Connie Rose’s great- grandmother, Elaine Walsh, 59, who travelled from her home in London for the anniversary, said she had not stopped thinking about the toddler.
“She was beautiful. I often wonder how she would have grown up,” Elaine said.
“We’ll never get over this but we want to use what happened to save the lives of other tots.”