The mother of a five-year-old boy who drowned in the River Braid has said it would be a struggle to go to the scene this Sunday – the first anniversary of the tragedy.
Kayden Fleck was out playing when he fell into the Braid in the Ecos Park in Ballymena on February 10, 2018.
Leanne said Sunday will be a tough day and said if a family remembrance event is to be held at the river bank she may find it to tough to go along.
The 35-year-old said: “It’s going to be a hard day. Getting through Christmas was hard and getting through Kayden’s birthday without him was hard.
“We are thinking of having a family get-together and let off a few wee balloons to remember him. A family member was saying we could either go to the graveside at Ballee Cemetery or go to the Ecos Park but I said there was no way I was going to the Ecos Park as I have not been back over there since.
“Everybody says that for me to move on it would be better for me to go the Ecos Park.”
She said she could yet be perhaps be persuaded by family members to go to the river but said it would be a struggle.
Leanne added: “Every time I pass over a bridge over the River Braid I get very anxious.”
Leanne travels in from Cullybackey on the train and then walks her children over Harryville Bridge – which crosses the Braid in Ballymena town centre – to bring them to primary school.
“I need to cross the river to get to their school and I get very anxious to this day. I get nightmares about what my wee-un must have being going through and I think ‘why did it happen’ and ‘how did it happen’.”
Leanne – who is mum to Daniel (15), Kayden’s twin-brother Jayden (6), Amelia (4) also has a baby girl Ellieanna, who is “doing fantastic” at eleven weeks old.
She said in a year of “ups and down” Ellieanna had brought “light” into their lives.
Leanne said their first Christmas without Kayden had been a “nightmare” and it had been tough on what should have been his sixth birthday last August.
She said she and her husband Darrel’s first wedding anniversary on January 26 “didn’t really count” either and she said she there will always be a shadow over her birthday on February 16 as Kayden was buried the day before last year.
Added Leanne: “Every day is a struggle for me but when I look at my other kids it is them that keep me going”.