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Tuesday 14 August 2018

Dying boy's last words turned into book about his life story

Tragic Jake Brennan
Tragic Jake Brennan

"Mammy, I don't want to die", the last words spoken by a six-year-old, have been used as the title for a book about his life and death.

Jake Brennan was struck by a car while playing outside his home in June 2014, and his mother Roseann has written a book in tribute to her son.

Due to be launched in April in Kilkenny, Mammy I Don't Want to Die tells the story of little Jake from the time Roseann and husband Christopher found out he was due, through all the happy times of his life, the day of his death and the aftermath.

"It's been very therapeutic," Roseann says of putting the book together, which she did with help from ghost writer Kathryn Rogers.

"When I'm having a bad day, I would just go to the chapter when it happened, when Jakey was taken from me, and I just think 'if I got through that day, I can get through this'. It helps me with seeing just how far I've come. Some days I feel like I'm getting nowhere but when I look at it, I have come a long way."

Jake died on June 12, 2014, when he was hit by a car while crossing the road outside his house in the Lintown estate in Kilkenny city. He left behind heartbroken parents as well as one sister, Savannah, and brother Kaelem.

In the months and years that followed, Roseann started Jake's Legacy, a campaign to lower speed limits within residential areas, which has been acted upon by local authorities.

There have been many bad times, including a period after Roseann took an overdose of pills and woke up in hospital.

"It took me weeks to even feel right after that," she said.

Special

Roseann's book tells the story of some special days in the family's life. "You get to know Jake and then you have a few days coming up to the accident, then you have the full day in detail, the full, horrible day.

"I tell everything exactly how it went, and anything that was put into the inquest is all in there. We just wanted people to see the true story."

The launch takes place on April 18 at Langton's House Hotel in Kilkenny when the guests will include former hurler of the year Henry Shefflin.

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