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New play park is named after 11-year-old heart patient Jake who collapsed and died nearby

By Donna Deeney

Published 08/08/2015

Jakes’s mum Leona outside the new play park named after her son in Racecourse Park, Londonderry
Jakes’s mum Leona outside the new play park named after her son in Racecourse Park, Londonderry
A treasured family snap of Jake

The parents of a little boy who died in tragic circumstances have spoken of their delight after a chldren's play park was named after him.

Just over two years ago, Peter and Leona Murphy's world was turned upside down when their only son Jake died suddenly on his way home from playing with his friends.

Jake Murphy died aged just 11 after he had been diagnosed with a heart condition when he was a baby.

This week a play park opened near the spot where the youngster died - and it has been named Jake's Play Park.

Jake's mother said she hopes other parents will bring their children to the park and spare a thought for her son at the same time.

She said: "We wanted a plaque erected where Jake died and were finding out how to get that done when Councillor Tony Hassan came to us and asked how we would feel about the new play park being called after Jake.

"We were very emotional at the idea but we agreed because it is so close to the spot where Jake died.

"We attended the official opening this week and that was another tough day, but it will be a comfort knowing that our precious son is remembered in this way.

"There is a bench with the plaque that we originally wanted in the park and we want to get Jake's photograph up as well.

"Jake was such an amazing, fun-filled wee character who loved to joke and play games and adored his sisters. We will never get over losing him but this park will allow others to remember him every day as well. It is a beautiful tribute."

The play park is part of the wider housing development of Racecourse Park and Racecourse Drive built by Apex Housing Association.

A spokesman for Apex added: "Jake's Play Park will provide an environment where local children can play safely within the confines of the development."

An inquest into the circumstances which led to Jake's sudden death opened in March 2014. It was adjourned on the same day by Coroner Jim Kitson to allow the family GP to be called as a witness and for his medical records to be sent to him. A new date has yet to be set.

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