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Grieving mother pens heartfelt letter to the Southfields community following son’s death

Grieving mother pens heartfelt letter to the Southfields community following son’s death

A grieving mother has penned a heartfelt letter to the Southfields community following the sudden death of her 18-year-old son.

It was 1am on April 23 when Lara Maskhadova walked into her son's bedroom. There she found Peter lying on the floor next to his desk.

Lara called 999 and started CPR while still on the phone. The ambulance came within minutes but sadly Peter passed away.

The post-mortem could not discover any specific cause of death. This led to an intermediate death certificate being issued which called it ‘sudden death syndrome’.

In the months since that tragic night, Lara has been greatly supported by the community to which she calls home and wanted to thank those who have helped her in this time of need.

"The reason for writing this is not to talk about my grief, nothing can put into words how I feel about losing my son," she said.

"I wanted to write about kindness and in particular the kindness I have been shown by certain people."

A "scientist in the making", Peter attended St Cecilia's School.

Lara said the Southfields teachers have been with her every step of the way.

"People have sent flowers and cards, of course, but the students and teachers at Peter’s school have gone above and beyond what I could have imagined and I’ve been overwhelmed by their kindness and support," she added.

"They have sent me his school certificates, coursework and official school photos that I didn’t even know had been taken as Peter would never tell me.

"They arranged a coach for students and teachers to attend his funeral and in June, just before the end of term, they organised a memorial service for Peter and created a book of memories signed by everyone, including photos and personal messages from his friends and tutors."

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The school even went so far as to raise money so that a memorial bench could be bought in his honour.

It was Peter's dedication to school that will live on in Lara's mind for the rest of her life.

"At a time where many other teenagers have nowhere else to go but run around the streets causing harm to one another, my son was focused on his coursework and working long shifts at his job, keeping fit and always making time for his friends," she said.

"I am so proud to have raised a good member of society and I know he would have continued to make me proud."

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Lara paid special mention to three of the school's teachers, Mr Burkes, Mr Bishop and Mrs Joseph, all of whom went the extra mile both before Peter's tragic death and afterwards.

Lara now wants to set up an afterschool debate club to help other children focus on positive achievements and build their self-confidence in a safe environment.

"So to everyone who reads this, be inspired by the incredible people at St Cecilia’s," she finished with.

"And like these teachers do, inspire children, encourage them and believe in them. And most of all - show your children kindness and love."

Peter's heart was donated to St George's Hospital for research in the hope that it may one day help someone else.

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