Heartbroken family and friends of Sheldon Gary Farnell said goodbye to the youngster who brought joy and happiness to so many lives.
The adored four-year-old passed away two weeks ago of suspected sepsis - just 24 hours after he was sent home from Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Yesterday, his mum Katrina Farnell and his close family were joined at St Michael and All Angels’ Church, in Houghton, by hundreds of mourners devastated by the loss of the “happy and caring” boy.
Motorbikes, lorries, tractors and cars lined the streets to give the adored little boy the send off he deserved.
A white carriage with one black and one white horse carried Sheldon’s coffin which was decorated with Paw Patrol characters - the youngster’s favourite TV show.
Life-size characters wearing personalised T-shirts and two fire engines followed the procession before family and friends entered the church to the song ‘Baby Shark’.
Reverend Margaret Lee, who led the ceremony, said: “Sheldon filled everyone’s hearts with love and joy. A funny, cheeky four-year-old who’s always happy and loving.
“Sheldon’s happiest when someone was playing with him, especially his mum Katrina - together they sang and danced and best of all they cuddled.
“If you were sad, Sheldon would ask why because sadness was never a part of his life.
“Sheldon would comfort us saying ‘don’t cry Sheldon’s here’ and then give you a hug.”
Daniel Robson, who Sheldon adoringly called Uncle Havier, said: “Where do I start with Sheldon - he was perfect in every little way.
“He was the most polite little boy you could ever meet. He was loving and caring. He had one of them cheeky faces that you could squeeze all the time.”
He said: “I always treated Sheldon like he was my own. We did everything together and he got everything and anything he ever wanted off me and Rachael. I would have never let him down.
“But unfortunately Sheldon went up to God in Heaven - to a much better place.
“We all miss him and love him so much and we will never ever forget him.”
Katrina, who wore a T-shirt printed with a picture of Sheldon surrounded by hs favurite Paw Patrol characters, lit a candle for her son before a mourners listened to a beautiful performance of Dani and Lizzy’s Dancing in the Sky.
His adoring mother, Katrina, had rushed him to hospital three days before after the ‘joyful’ youngster fell unwell.
But he was sent home just 24 hours before he died.
A review into the circumstances around Sheldon’s care has now been launched by bosses at City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, with the matter also passed to the city coroner for investigation.
Now Katrina and her family say they are fighting for justice to get the answers they deserve.