Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
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2000
Born in United Kingdom on February 17, 2000.
 
7th September 2004
Matthew started school, he was so proud to be 'one of the big kids'. He loved school and was always happy to go. I would take him up to the playground to line up and then I would go down the steps while he went down the ramp with his teacher and class friends, he'd always say 'race you' and sometimes Id have to take my time so that he could win, as he walked past me he'd always grin and wink at me (much to the amusement of those who saw).
In just three short months Matthew touched the hearts of those he met at school too.
When Matthew got his wings, over £300 was raised by the school for the ICU at the hospital where Matthew passed.
 
2004
God took his hand on November 30, 2004 at the age of 4.
 
7th December 2004

Local newspaper did a tribute piece for Matthew
First published on Tuesday 07 December 2004:

Tragedy of boy who loved life

A LITTLE boy who loved life has died from a rare strain of meningitis.
Matthew Burns, aged four, died within hours of being taken to the Royal Manchester Childrenís Hospital at Pendlebury.
His parents, Andrew and Sarah, 11-year-old brother Joshua, and eight-year-old sister Charlotte, were at his bedside when his life support machine was switched off.
His devastated mother said: "He loved life and never complained about anything." Matthew, of **********, who started at Spindle Point Primary School in September, had pneumoccocal meningitis; a condition that only kills 15 per cent of people who get it.
He died last Tuesday within days of complaining about headaches and earache. His mother said: "The doctor came out last Monday and said he had a slight ear infection and prescribed antibiotics. "He seemed to perk up then and was even singing into a new karaoke machine that we had bought. "He was unsettled through the night and when I went into his bedroom on Tuesday morning he had basically gone. "I phoned for an ambulance and they told me how to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Josh ran out into the street shouting for help and a neighbour took over the resuscitation."
Paramedics took Matthew to the Royal Bolton Hospital and he was transferred to the Royal Manchester Childrenís Hospital.
Doctors said Matthew could not be saved and the family said their goodbyes that night.
Joshua and Charlotte made handprints with Matthew and a cast of his hand was made for the family to keep.
Matthew died in his parents' arms that night and the children were let in the room to say goodbye.

Matthew's funeral will be held at St Stephen's Church, on Wednesday at 10.30am and he will be buried in his favourite Spider-Man outfit.
Mrs Burns said: "He was such a character and totally obsessed with Spider-Man. He loved climbing up everything, including doorframes, where we always had to walk under his legs. He loved life and never complained about anything.


"He had a lifetime's worth of character in nearly five years."
Mr Burns said: "He always insisted on wearing his sandals on the wrong feet and when we used to tell him, he'd simply cross his legs and say they were right again."

Matthew had started Spindle Point Primary School in September.
Mrs Burns said: "I used to take him to school every morning and he would wink at me as he went into class."

She added: "I'm dreading this Christmas. It's still got to go ahead because we have two other children but it's a time we will all find difficult."

Head teacher at Spindle Point Sue Johnson said: "We are all very sad about the news and that includes the children, staff and the whole community."
Health experts have visited the school and talked to parents of reception class children as well as Matthewís family about the condition.
Graham Munslow, a communicable disease nurse at Bolton Primary Care Trust, said: "This form of meningitis cannot be passed from one person to another so there are no public health implications."


A total of £232 has been raised for Matthew's family by the community in the Costcutters shop.


The pneumoccocal bacteria lives in the back of the throats of many people and in 60 per cent of children. Occasionally it can get into the bloodstream and attack the lining of the brain, causing meningitis.


Matthew's parents have said anyone who wants to pay their respects to their son can attend and flowers are welcome.


Any donations in Matthew's memory can be sent to the Charities Office, the Royal Manchester Childrenís Hospital, Hospital Road, Pendlebury, M27 4HA. Cheques should be made payable to Manchester Childrenís Hospitals Charity with Intensive Care Unit written on the back in brackets.

 
7 December 2004
Matthew came home to spend his last night with us. Nothing about this is 'nice' but what other words can I use? It was so nice to have him home even if it was for just one last night. I sat for most of the night holding his tiny hand and chatting to him. Even then I still prayed that he would move, wake up and then Id wake up too and find it was all a bad dream.
 
8 December 2004
Matthew's 'taxi' came to take him to his final resting place where he was laid to rest in his Spiderman suit. The undertaker didnt just walk to the end of the road, she walked the whole way to the church, this touched me so much and is something I wont ever forget, Matthew was shown the respect he deserved. The church service was nice, some songs for us, but then ended with songs that Matthew liked, 'Our house' and 'complicated', so typical of him, he never saw any reason to complicate anything.
Rest in peace little man
Love and miss you always
Mummy xxx
 
8th December 2004
Matthews flowers
 
8th December 2004
More flowers
 
9th December 2004

The newspaper covered his funeral, he would have wanted to be famous!!!

First published on Thursday 09 December 2004:

Farewell to little superhero Matthew

A SPIDER'S web of flowers summed up little Matthew Burns' love of the superhero Spiderman at his funeral 0n Wednesday.
Mourners gathered at St Stephen's Church, Kearsley, to say goodbye to Matthew, aged four, who died of a rare strain of meningitis.
He was buried in the churchgrounds, wearing his Spiderman outfit.
His parents, Andrew and Sarah, 11-year-old brother Joshua and sister Charlotte, aged eight, were with Matthew when he died at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital at Pendlebury on Tuesday, November 30.

He died of pneumoccocal meningitis, which was triggered by a slight ear infection.

Mr Burns addressed the100-strong congregation with stories and memories of Matthew, who was a pupil at Spindle Point Primary School.

He said: "Matthew was born on February 17, 2000. He was our Millennium baby. "He was later to be known to many friends and family as Spiderman.
"Living life to the full is what Matthew did, making people smile and knowing once a person had been in his presence, he would not have been forgotten. I held him in my arms when he was born and held him when he left us. He was one of my three little stars.
"As a family our lives will never be the same. To lose our son so young is our worst nightmare."
He paid tribute to his wife, Sarah, whom he described as the best mother Matthew could have wished for, and read out different memories of Matthew from Mrs Burns, Joshua and Charlotte.

Matthew's grandmother read out a poem entitled Matthew The Angel.

Dozens of flowers were left at Matthew's graveside including the spider's web, a teddy bear and 'Matt' spelled out in flowers.

Donations can be made in Matthew's memory to the Charities Office, the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Hospital Road, Pendlebury, M27 4HA.


Cheques should be made to Manchester Children's Hospitals Charity with Intensive Care Unit written on the back.

 
2nd February 2005
Newspaper report on a vaccine that could have saved Matthews life, it is important to fight for greater awareness of meningitis and also vaccinations that are available but not routinely given. Matthew cannot have died for nothing and if it just saves one life then he didnt die in vain.

First published on Wednesday 02 February 2005:

Parents call for a choice of vaccine

THE mother of a little boy who died from a rare strain of meningitis says a newly-available vaccine could have saved her son's life.
Sarah Burns, from Kearsley, believes a vaccine which has been approved by Government health chiefs but which has not been made widely available on the NHS, could have saved her son, Matthew.
He died in November aged four after contracting pneumoccocal meningitis, the symptoms of which include what appears to be a normal ear infection.
Most parents are unaware of the new vaccine because the Government has not agreed to pay for its use through the NHS, except for patients already identified as high risk.
The vaccine is produced by US pharmaceutical company Prevnar and each jab costs around £45.
Parents can pay for it privately and it is given to children under the age of two.
Mrs Burns is calling for more publicity for the vaccine so that parents can have their children vaccinated if they wish.
And she has been joined in her call by Robert Leyland, whose three-year-old daughter Morgan died in November, 2002, of meningococcal meningitis, a different strain to that which killed Matthew.
The vaccine would not have saved Morgan, but Mr Leyland believes everything should be done to combat the various strains of meningitis.
Mrs Burns said: "Parents need to be aware of this and need to be given the choice as to whether they want their children to have this injection.
"Even if the Government won't fund it, parents should be able to pay for it themselves.
"All parents want to do the best for their children and I'm no different.
"If this vaccine had been available a year ago, Matthew would still be here."
Mrs Burns' two other children, Joshua and Charlotte, will be given the vaccine.
Mr Leyland, of Darcy Lever, said: "I can't believe that parents have not been told about this vaccine.
"It is safe, it has been approved yet parents are not being given the choice. It's scandalous."
The Meningitis Research Foundation confirmed Government advisers had given their support in principle to the new vaccination to protect against pneumococcal disease.
Children already receive a vaccination against meningitis C, but there is still no vaccine for meningococcal meningitis.
The foundation's chief executive Denise Vaughan said: "Pneumococcal meningitis and septicaemia have affected the lives of many of the charity's 5,000 members.
"They share Meningitis Research Foundation's vision of a world free from meningitis and septicaemia and the introduction of this vaccine will take us a step closer to our vision."
A spokesman for the Bolton Primary Care Trust said: "The PCT follows national guidance on the use of this vaccine.
"It currently sets out a list of high risk people who should be offered the vaccine.
But the guidance also points out that this vaccine only protects against a few of the very many variations of the pneumococcus bacteria, and is not one of the most effective vaccines, particularly in young children."
Serious pneumococcal disease such as meningitis, septicaemia (blood poisoning) and pneumonia is responsible for the deaths of at least 50 babies and young children every year in the UK leaving many others with life-long disabilities, including brain damage, epilepsy and deafness. The symptoms include fever, an aversion to bright lights and a purple rash that does not disappear when a glass is pressed against it.

 
17 February 2005
Matthews first birthday in Heaven, hope he got the balloons we sent up to him and hope he had a lovely party in Heaven xx
 
6th March 2005
My first mothers day without you, I got two wonderful cards from your brother and sister, cards which I loved but that also reminded me that there should have been three cards. I went to the cemetery to visit you three times today just to check that it wasnt all a bad dream, unfortunately every time I went I found out that this was reality, our lives from now on. We miss you so much Matthew xxx
 
27th March 2005
Your first Easter in Heaven, Grandma and I brought Easter cards to your special garden. Grandma read them out to you, off her and Grandad and off Josh and Char, I couldnt read mine out to you so she read that too. I hope you liked them.
Miss you so much little man, every day not just special days
Love you more than the world and stars
Mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 
28th March 2005
Matthew is still having an effect on peoples lives even though he is no longer with us, I received this lovely message today...

Hello,
I was just noseying around people in the north when i came accross your page. Im a 34 yr old divorced bloke, act like a bit of a tuff guy, and yet I have never felt so touched.....it makes you realise wot u have I think....my son is 6 and is my life, but so often I am grumpy with him,,,then again he does have his moments!!
I think I have spent to long looking at what I have lost in the divorce, instead of what I have now. I am sorry for your loss, you are a far stronger person than me and I wish you well for the future.
Take Care
Paul x
 
15th July 2005
Today I became the proud owner of a cherished teddy perfectly named 'Matt and Vicki'. I have collected these bears since 1993 and have never even heard of this bear. A sign from my angels maybe?
 
10th October 2005

Victoria's 8th anniversary, we sent balloons for the pretty little princess and she had cards and sweets. Finally I can show the world how important she was and always will be to me. At last the whole family aknowledged that she had exsisted, god bless you and keep you safe big girl.

Also Matthews memorial garden at Spindle Point school was opened with a special assembly.

 
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