Touching tributes after Leeds youngster dies from virus

Otis Webster. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
Otis Webster. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
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Emotional tributes have been paid to a “one-in-a-million” nine-year-old boy following his death from a virus.

Otis Webster, of Armley, Leeds, was found lifeless in his bedroom by his mother, 46-year-old Beverley Webster, after he was kept off school suffering from what was thought to be no more than a cold.

The official cause of his death has been given as hypoxia, or oxygen starvation.

Otis’s funeral is due to take place tomorrow at Cottingley Hall Crematorium at 1.40pm.

The youngster’s grief-stricken father, Andy Lowley, 47, said: “He was a real character – full of life.

“He was cheeky and he would really push you but never with malice. It’s gut-wrenching. We are absolutely devastated.”

Paramedics managed to restart Otis’s heart after he was found and he was taken to Leeds General Infirmary, where he was placed in a medically induced coma.

He was transferred to Martin House Children’s Hospice, near Wetherby, after staff at the hospital told his parents there was no hope for their son due to the amount of time his brain had been deprived of oxygen.

Mr Lowley praised the care given at both LGI and Martin House, saying: “It was absolutely exceptional.

“We would take a brief break and find nurses reading a story to him. They didn’t have to do that.”

He added: “Bev and I know everything that could have been done was done and that’s so important.”

Both Mr Lowley and Ms Webster are originally from Hull and hundreds of family and friends are expected to make the journey over to Leeds for tomorrow’s funeral.