The sky turned yellow as hundreds of people gathered in Hartlepool in an emotional tribute to toddler Jacob Jenkins.
People in the town and across the world spent the last few days lighting candles of hope for the two-year-old and praying for his recovery after he was left in a coma after choking on a grape during a visit to the town’s Pizza Hut restaurant.
A balloon release was held at Seaton Carew seafront as a show of support for Jacob and his family, with hundreds of people attending.
But sadly, just as the balloons filled the night sky at 7pm, Jacob lost his brave battle for life.
His parents Abigail Wilson and David Jenkins, who had been at his bedside at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, broke the tragic news shortly afterwards. The couple released their own balloons in memory of Jacob in a poignant tribute.
Abigail said: “Jacob grew his angel wings at 7pm as people let off their balloons.
“We chose this time to let him go as we knew everyone would be thinking of him and have him in their thoughts.
“There was nothing we could do.
“Jacob died in mine and his dad’s arms with his family by his side.
“We then went outside and released our own balloons.”
Jacob had stopped breathing for around 30 minutes while first aiders worked to remove the grape.
As messages of support for Jacob and his family came in from across the globe, family friend Ben Picton launched a Go Fund Me page for the family, which last night had raised more than £5,000.