Toddlers can find themselves in trouble often. If you blink, you’ll miss them getting into mischief. If you’re not careful, this devil-may-care attitude can become life-threatening. One little boy, 3-year-old Alby Fox Davis died after choking on a bouncy ball.

His mother, Anna, runs the popular Instagram account, The Small Folk. Anna is pregnant with her fourth child. She also owns The Small Folk, ‘enchanting, holistic play store, celebrating a naturally simplified childhood.’ The ball was a gift to Alby ahead of his fourth birthday party. He received the present earlier in the day. The bouncy ball became stuck in his windpipe, and he couldn’t breathe. His mother tried saving him, but he died in her arms.

The Small Folk posted this on social media: “I can’t wait to go to bed tonight Mum!” Our precious boy, with his brand new doona cover, 2.49pm on Monday afternoon… exactly 40 minutes before he took his final earthside breath in my arms. No words could ever express the depths of our gratitude for the outpouring of love we have received since our worst nightmare became our daily reality. During this time of immense grief, your thoughts, prayers, sympathy, and tears have enveloped and uplifted us, and we could never thank you enough for your overwhelming generosity and support. Sweet Alby, forever three, forever free.”

Alby also has an older sister, Sage Mila Wren, and brother, Acre Roo. Alby was known for having a sense of humor. This is another Instagram post: “Don’t let that sweet face fool you… this cheeky rascal gave us a big scare this morning! We were all up in the attic together when Alby decided to head back downstairs. A few minutes later we could smell something burning, so I raced down to find our microwave billowing smoke – Alby had tried to warm up his own heat pack (because, #resourceful ✔), and had put the timer on for 20 minutes instead of 2. After racing the burning heat pack and microwave plate into the backyard and hosing it down, we are now left with a house that smells pleasantly like burnt wheat. #anyonecomingforaplaydatethisweek #BYOfumigationmask”

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Darling Alby, Today, despite the fact you are no longer with us, we celebrate and honour your fourth sunshine journey. Your daddy and I visited you this morning, holding your hands and stroking your hair, for what I wish could have been an eternity. We placed your much-longed for gift – a waterproof watch with a light – around your tiny little wrist, and tried not to shower you with too many tears as we painted your fingernails with your favourite gold glitter polish. Time spent with you is never enough and leaving without you by our side, summons the most unbearable pain we’ve ever had to endure. Our arms are yearning for the thousands of cuddles yet to be given, our ears are longing for your laughter to once again resound through the walls of our home, and our hearts are shattered for the millions of memories we’ll never have the chance to create. We, along with the world, are weeping, but we take solace in the fact that all you ever knew, in your almost-four-years, was nothing but love. We are eternally grateful for the abundant light you brought to our lives and now know that your purpose was so much higher than any of us ever anticipated. Happy birthday sweetheart. We miss you endlessly ♥️

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A GoFundMe page has been set up to help support the family after their tragedy. It’s currently raised more than $225,000 of a $100,000 goal.

The page reads:

“In this time of unfathomable grief, this beautiful family needs time to mourn and surround each other in love, without having the financial burdens of daily life and work commitments weighing on their minds.

”As Simon is a relief teacher, he’s not entitled to any leave, and as so many of you know, Anna is self-employed with her much-loved business, The Small Folk.

“Let us come together to offer our support in any amount we can. We may live far away, even separated by oceans, but let us band together to help Anna and her family feel our love and presence during this time.

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What a tragic loss. Our prayers and love go out to Alby’s family.

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As the media storm surrounding our family swirled yesterday, I beg you – this beautiful, loving community – to disregard the many ignorant, hurtful and incorrect assumptions that have been formed regarding the more specific details of Alby’s passing. The heart ache we are already experiencing is indescribable, and to know there are ill-informed stories and subsequent false accusations circulating, initiated by some incredibly heartless people at this time, only exacerbates our pain. To very briefly clarify some of the most widely spread misconceptions – yes, I of course tried to save our beautiful boy (including, but not only, undertaking CPR for 16 excruciating minutes until paramedics arrived), I was three feet away from Alby when the incident occurred and was by his side within seconds, the ball was larger than the 50c piece/film canister size-recommendation for toys given to young children, and the ball packaging states ‘not for children under three years’ – being only a few days away from turning 4, Alby was almost one year older than this advice (swipe across) We thank you again, from the bottom of our hearts, for the love and sympathy you have so graciously expressed. Knowing fellow mamas and papas are encircling our family, sharing in our grief, and clutching their babies a little tighter, brings us great comfort. Our golden boy will live on in us all 🕊

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