AS a grieving family kept a vigil beside their son’s hospital bed, they were just yards from the body of their older son which was lying in the bereavement suite.

Carl Eriksson’s death just two days earlier was a devastating shock for his family.

The 13-year-old died in hospital following a short illness after being taken unwell at his home in Sutton on Christmas Day.

Initially his parents believed he was suffering the symptoms of a cold. However Carl’s health rapidly deteriorated and he died on December 27.

His father David said Carl had contracted influenza before developing MRSA.

Terrifyingly, two days later, Carl’s four-year-old brother Arron was struck down with strikingly similar symptoms.

David, 42, said: “Arron woke up and not only did he have a fever, he said his hands and feet were hurting.

“We were in a panic. I had been reading up on what happened to Carl, so we took him straight to the doctors.

“They told us it was best in the circumstances to take him to hospital, which we did. They kept a close eye on him for 24 hours, but he ended up being in there for five days, and tests showed he had MRSA.

“The whole situation was bizarre. We had to ask nurses to look after Arron while we went the 50 yards to see Carl in the bereavement suite.

“Your mind is constantly switching from one thing to the other. But it was something you just had to do.”

Arron has since made a recovery, but his parents David and Elaine remain shell-shocked.

David added: “The problem is not how Carl caught it; it’s what it did to him. He should have had no problems fighting it.”

Carl’s funeral at St Anne’s Church in Sutton drew a huge number of mourners, including his fellow pupils at St Cuthbert’s.

Donations have been pouring in, with almost £950 raised so far.

David added: “We are not quite sure how to divide this as yet, but we would like it to help Whiston, Alder Hey and the Alder Centre, which supports families after the loss of their child. We have found their support invaluable and is ongoing for as long as needed.”

One of Carl’s school friends has organised a charity fun run on his birthday, Friday, March 22, at some of his favourite places in the town, including Sutton Park.