Grieving father calls for asthma cure

St Patrick's College Belfast crest
St Patrick's College Belfast crest

The father of a 14-year-old north Belfast schoolboy who died suddenly from an asthma attack has called for a cure for the condition as “no parents should go through this nightmare”.

Jack Whyte, a Year 11 pupil at St Patrick’s College Bearnageeha, died on Tuesday. His mother Kathy was with him when he suffered the attack.

On Facebook his father Damien posted: “As I write this I’m sitting beside the coffin of my beloved 14-year-old son. I just want to say thank you too everyone who contacted us with you’re kind comments. Asthma is a scourge that must be dealt with. The one thing wee need most in life is to breathe and when you see your child struggle for breath you would think there was after all this time a cure for this horrible illness. No parents should go through this nightmare.”

On Tuesday night a spokesman for Jack’s school posted on Facebook: “Jack was such a popular student and everyone at St Patrick’s ollege is devastated and very saddened by this news.”

The post describes the youngster as “a bright, outgoing student, kind and caring” who was “a pleasure to teach”.

Requiem Mass for the teenager will be held on Saturday at 9.30am in St Patrick’s Church in Belfast before his burial in Carnmoney cemetery.