The toddler son of tragic Antrim nursing sister Laura Burns celebrated his second birthday yesterday, five days after his young mum was laid to rest.
Little Lorcan Burns, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy with dystonia, had been in bed with his mum when she developed a severe migraine, her family have said.
Popular Laura, a nursing sister and ward manager at Antrim Area Hospital, lost consciousness and her heart stopped beating.
She was taken to the hospital where she worked for treatment, but her condition deteriorated and her life support was switched off.
Posting on social media yesterday, Laura's husband of four years, Keelan (29), described young Lorcan as his "pride and joy".
Alongside a collage of family pictures, he wrote: "Sadly we never would have imagined ourselves being in the position we are in, celebrating your wee birthday without mummy Laura.
"But we know she is somewhere very near, watching over us and making sure we carry on as she would have wanted.
"Lorcan, you have done me and everyone so proud over the last 10 days, and I think it's easy to forget you have lost your mummy wee man, and for you my heart breaks the most.
"You have been through so much, but you have brought us all so much happiness in the darkest of times.
"You're my absolute world, and I promise you little man I will always have your best interest at heart.
"You are, and always will be, my number one.
"I will do anything for you and I love you to the moon and back, you're my world son.
"Happy Birthday wee 'Jackie', now lets get some presents opened and do mummy proud."
Keelan also posted videos of his son enjoying a birthday visit to charity The Buddy Bear Trust, which supports youngsters with cerebral palsy and other motor disorders.
And touching pictures posted online later showed little Lorcan sitting on his doting Dad's knee as he received gifts.
Keelan wrote: "Opening Lorcan's birthday presents, missing one special person."
A fundraising page set up in Laura's memory has so far raised over £13,100, which will be split between The Buddy Bear Trust and Antrim Hospital's ICU.
To donate to the fundraising drive, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/laura-burns