'Unbearable': Family mourns boy who died from seizure in sleep

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·2-min read

A Queensland family is mourning the death of a fun-loving young 11-year-old boy who died after suffering a seizure in his sleep.

Jett Somerhayes-Nixon, from the Gold Coast, died on Anzac Day after failing to recover from a seizure in his sleep, according to a GoFundMe page.

His aunt, Lucy Somerhayes, wrote on the page their “Jetty Spaghetti” had autism and was “plagued by seizures over the past few years”.

“But although it wasn't easy, he was the happiest little boy, he loved to sing, dance and make everyone laugh... he was at his happiest if everyone was laughing, singing and dancing with him,” Ms Somerhayes wrote.

A photo of Jett Somerhayes-Nixon, 11, and his mum, Julia Somerhayes.
Jett Somerhayes-Nixon, 11, with his mum, Julia Somerhayes. Source: GoFundMe/ Jetty's send-off

“He has now gone on to 'rave in paradise', but his family needs help right now to help with funeral costs and give him the send-off he deserved, and to help support them whilst they try and face life without their young, happy, smiley, singing boy.”

Ms Somerhayes told Yahoo News Australia her nephew "was the most hilarious, cheeky and loving little guy you could ever meet".

"It's completely unfair and unbearable that such a massive personality could leave us in such a tragic way," she said.

"It's so incredibly quiet without him."

Jett had about 50 to 60 seizures a day last year, his family told The Gold Coast Bulletin, which led to him being hospitalised and needing a wheelchair to get around. He also had to wear a protective rugby-style headgear on his head.

However, Jett's family said the boy hadn't had a major seizure for four months before he died.

Jett Somerhayes-Nixon, 11, is pictured.
Jett has been remembered as 'the happiest little boy'. Source: GoFundMe/ Jetty's send-off

Jett's sudden epilepsy death 'one in 4,500'

It’s believed Jett died from Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP).

Jett's aunt said the family found out his cause of death on Thursday.

She said Jett's parents want people to be aware of this condition and they "hope that one day there are some more answers as to why it happens and what can be done to prevent it".

According to Epilepsy Australia, SUDEP “is when a person with epilepsy dies suddenly and prematurely and no reason for death is found”.

“In general, people living with epilepsy are at a one in 1,000 risk of SUDEP per year,” Epilepsy Australia says.

“In children, SUDEP is an even rarer occurrence with the risk as low as one in 4,500. Most, but not all, cases of SUDEP occur during or immediately after a seizure.”

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