‘Off to the angels’: Grieving mum’s heartbreaking goodbye
A devastated mother has paid tribute to her "beautiful boy" after he tragically died following a nightmare incident in the family pool, though she has proudly declared "his heart will beat on."
Lucas Baker took in a large amount of water from his family's Saunders Beach home on the morning of New Year's Eve, with his father Daniel commencing CPR to keep him alive.
Emergency services arrived and continued treatment before urgently transporting him to the Townsville University Hospital.
The three-year-old fought for his life for four days before he sadly passed away.
Lucas, who had autism, was non-verbal but his mother Mary-Clare Baker said that didn't take away from his larger than life personality.
"I loved my little buddy. I don't know how we will ever be the same again," Mrs Baker said.
"He was a beautiful boy who had the biggest personality. Even though he didn't speak you knew he was in the room. He was a happy, active little fellow.
"He loved trucks, cars, YouTube Kids, Blue's Clues and cuddles with his mum.
"He was a little fighter, he fought hard. We thought he was improving but he took a turn for the worse. We sent him into surgery and then we sent him off to the angels."
Lucas, whose favourite colour was blue, had enjoyed his first day of junior kindergarten just a month before the incident.
His family relocated from Charters Towers in July last year so he could get assistance with his autism.
Lucas was undertaking speech therapy and was also learning sign language.
Mrs Baker encouraged parents' to "hold your kids tight" in light of the tragedy.
"Lucas was special needs and didn't have an awareness of danger but an accident can happen to anyone at any time," she said.
"I found a calendar I was filling in just before the accident happened with all of his therapy appointments for the year … we made plans and then they didn't come."
Mrs Baker said she would be forever grateful for the help and care the staff at Townsville University Hospital provided.
"Thank you to the doctors and nurses who were amazing. We have seen much compassion during this heartbreak.
"We also couldn't get through this without our family and extended network of friends.
"Lucas is and was very loved by people from literally all over the world, and it's heartbreaking to get to this place. This is a nightmare but you have all been so great."
Mrs Baker revealed Lucas was an organ donor, with his selfless act assisting four children.
"Lucas was B blood group which is rare and he will save four children who can't get an organ because of this blood type.
"His heart will beat on inside another mum's baby boy."
Lucas' funeral is being held on Thursday, with family and friends encouraged to wear blue in his memory and make a donation to Autism Spectrum Australia.
Originally published as 'Off to the angels': Grieving mum's heartbreaking goodbye