Lollies save boy as mother dies

A little boy survived for three days on ice lollies while his mother lay dead in their home from a suspected brain haemorrhage, it was disclosed yesterday.

Four-year-old James Dyball was locked inside the flat with his mother Melanie, 33, when she suddenly collapsed last Friday as the sweltering heat soared above 32C (90F). He survived by opening the fridge-freezer - and the six lollies were all he could unwrap to eat.

James thought his mother was asleep but could not wake her. He sat in the flat for at least 72 hours watching television and eating the lollies and two packets of crisps. He was only discovered when neighbours became worried after his devoted mother was not seen for several days. Her landlady, Margaret Daley, was called in and found James playing with his toys when she peeped through the lounge window of the basement flat in Pembroke Dock, Dyfed, west Wales.

Mrs Daley said yesterday: "He is a little hero. I shouted through the window to him and he was able to follow my instructions and open it for me to climb in. The first words he said to me were: 'My mum is asleep'."

Mrs Daley found his mother lying dead on top of her bed. She comforted James before calling in police and ambulance.

Other neighbours who came in to help found ice lolly wrappers and empty crisp packets in the lounge. James was taken to Withybush hospital at Haverfordwest, Dyfed and released after a check-up.

Mrs Daley said: "Melanie's family are devastated. She was a great mother who was very nicely-spoken and independent. She looked after the little boy very well."

A neighbour, Angela Gilbert, 43, said: "We all know about him eating the lollipops to carry on and keep cool in all this heat. It was the only thing he could find to eat because obviously he couldn't cook any food at that young age.

"It is awful to think of that poor boy surviving because of that. The boy absolutely doted on his mother. When he left the house and his mother behind it must have finally hit him - he was crying his eyes out as he was being led away."

A police spokeswoman said the single mother had died from natural causes and no inquest will be held.

Last night James was being looked after by his mother's family.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application) - Agile

£215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...

Guru Careers: Business Development Manager / Sales

£30 - 40k (£65k Y1 OTE Uncapped): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Business Deve...

Guru Careers: Graduate Media Assistant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an ambitious and adaptable...

Guru Careers: Solutions Consultant

£30 - 40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Solutions Consultan...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before