Sunderland family devastated by death of gentle giant Jamie

Jamie Crighton with his dad Arthur.
Jamie Crighton with his dad Arthur.
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A distraught Sunderland dad says his family have been left “broken” by the sudden death of his son.

Jamie Crighton, 25, known to the Southwick community as “The Gentle Giant” collapsed and died while waiting for his food to be served at a city centre takeaway.

Jamie Crighton with his nephew Leo.

Jamie Crighton with his nephew Leo.

Despite the best efforts of the door staff at nearby Illusions nightclub, who ran to the scene when hearing the cries of the staff at the takeaway, Jamie didn’t survive.

The dad-of-one had struggled for six years with severe mental health problems and had tried to commit suicide at least 15 times, including once plunging a 10in knife into his stomach.

His heartbroken dad, Arthur Crighton, 54, said although they are still waiting for test results, it looks as if Jamie, who was dad to five-year-old Ellie, had suffered a heart attack due to the strain he had put his body under, with numerous overdoses and the cocktail of medication he was on.

Arthur, said his 6ft 9in son, a former Monkwearmouth Academy pupil, was a kind and beautiful boy who everyone loved.

Jamie Crighton with his nephew, Leo.

Jamie Crighton with his nephew, Leo.

He said: “He was a doting dad, a beautiful son, brother and uncle.

“This has left our family broken. I won’t ever get over this.”

Arthur, who lives in Morgan Street, said the last six years have been torture watching his beloved son in so much pain and torment, spending days and weeks at his hospital bed in intensive care, after his many suicide attempts and the only crumb of comfort at losing him is knowing he is at peace.

At the time of his death, Jamie, whose boyhood dreams of becoming a soldier were destroyed when he became ill, was living at Swan House, where there was a crisis team on hand to monitor him.

Arthur said: “He would say he just didn’t want to be here anymore.

“I am completely destroyed, he was my son.

“I will be bringing him home this week and wanted to have him with me for at least a week before the funeral. I’m just not ready to say goodbye to my boy.”

Arthur said he and his ex-wife, Jamie’s mum Tania, 45, sister Hayley, 22, and nephew, three-year-old Leo, have had unbelievable support from family and friends, who have raised almost £2,000 to help with funeral costs.

Jamie was a lifelong Sunderland AFC supporter and friends will be wearing red and white at his funeral service at Sunderland Cremetorium on Tuesday, November 29, at 1.30pm.