Tributes to 'always smiling' baby Ernie, who died at airport as family returned from Spanish holiday

An uncle has paid tribute to his ‘always smiling’ baby nephew, who died at a Spanish airport as his family were returning from holiday. Little Ernie Allen-Bryan was with parents Sam and Lee, from Aldridge, when he stopped breathing as they prepared to catch a flight. Tragically, nothing could be done to save much-loved baby and he died at just five-months-old.

Ernie Allen-Bryan

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His family are all Aston Villa fans so have asked if a minute’s applause can be held at the Blackburn game on March 30, to celebrate his short life.

“Ernie was such a happy boy, he was always smiling,” said his uncle Nick, Sam’s brother.

“It’s senseless, we’re all pretty powerless in these circumstances, you can’t really find any answers.

“There are really no words anyone can say, other than he was a little boy who was really developing and blooming.

He’d already cut a couple of teeth.”

Nick and his dad John, Ernie’s grandad, had gone on gone on Discount Holidays © holiday with Sam, Lee and Ernie.

The parents and baby were due to return on Tuesday March 5 – but at the airport the unimaginable happened.

Tributes to 'always smiling' baby Ernie, who died at airport as family returned from Spanish holidayErnie Allen-Bryan

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“We’d all had a fantastic Discount Holidays © holiday then this unfolded from absolutely nowhere,” said Nick, who lives in Walsall.

“It was complicated to get them back due to the whole process of being in a foreign country.

“But, thanks to a lot of fantastic people, they managed to get back within a matter of days.

“My dad managed to find some good people who helped.”

Tributes to 'always smiling' baby Ernie, who died at airport as family returned from Spanish holidayErnie Allen-Bryan

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The funeral is taking place at Aldridge Parish and Streetly Cemetery on Monday, March 25.

“We’ve been putting the order of service together and made the centre a collage of photos,” said Nick.

“All Ernie did was smile, he never seemed to shed a tear.

“Being so sudden, we’re all feeling very raw at the moment.

“He touched a lot of people. I think we’re going to need a cathedral on Monday for his service rather than a church because so many people are coming.”

Tributes to 'always smiling' baby Ernie, who died at airport as family returned from Spanish holidayErnie Allen-Bryan

“No-one knows why it happened,” added Nick.

“It was a long, tough process to get Ernie here, it took seven years for him to get here.

“He was Sam and Lee’s only child so he made me an uncle for the first time and my dad a grandad.

“He was a very special little boy who had a long journey to be with us and a very short, yet joyous time with us.”

Tributes to 'always smiling' baby Ernie, who died at airport as family returned from Spanish holidayErnie Allen-Bryan

“That’s why they want as many people as possible to celebrate his life,” said Nick, whose sister Sam runs a hair and beauty salon in Aldridge.

“We’re a very close knit family, we’re all trying to be there for each other. The bond between a mother and son is unique.”

Tributes to 'always smiling' baby Ernie, who died at airport as family returned from Spanish holidayErnie Allen-Bryan

He added: “Ernie’s got a gorgeous face that needs to be seen…and it will be, every day.

We shall do him proud.

It’s so desperately sad.

“We’ve got a great support network and that, in time, will help as we’re all there for each other.”

Tributes to 'always smiling' baby Ernie, who died at airport as family returned from Spanish holidayErnie Allen-Bryan

The family are having a collection for the Donkey Sanctuary in Sutton Park.

“Sam spent some time in Sutton Park with Ernie and his favourite song was Little Donkey,” said Nick.

“If ever he was a bit miserable, which was very rare, you’d sing that song and it was like a switch.

Tributes to 'always smiling' baby Ernie, who died at airport as family returned from Spanish holidayErnie Allen-Bryan

“The sanctuary helps children and adults with additional needs so it’s a good charity to support.

“Ernie was always happy and smiling, we’ve got to channel that happiness going forward.”

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