HUNDREDS of balloons were released in Cwmbran in memory of a three year-old boy who died from meningitis a week ago.
Connie Button, from Cwmbran, said her heart had been “smashed into a million pieces” by the death of her son, Shae Brynley Button, who died on April 14.
The family is now raising awareness of the illness.
Hundreds of people attended a fundraising event in Gwent Square, Cwmbran, on Saturday, which saw balloons released in his memory.
People were then invited to the Football Factory in Avondale Industrial Estate for a bouncy castle, face painting , cake sale, and character appearances.
Family friend Sophie Pilot, who has helped organise the event, said: “The support of the community has been overwhelming."
A Facebook page has also been set up in his memory, R.I.P Shae Brynley Button, that has 1,971 members.
Posting online following the balloon release, Ms Button, posted: “Thank you so much everyone, today was absolutely amazing.
“I have so much amazing support and amazing friends and family.
“My pain will never get easier but it warms me seeing how many people turned up.”
A fundraising page that was set up in his honour, with all proceeds will go to charity Meningitis Now, has raised £598.
The night before his death, Ms Button had stayed with Shae throughout the night, when he fell ill with vomiting and a temperature, but in the morning she said Shae deteriorated before her eyes.
She called an ambulance at 7am after he became limp and unresponsive and noticed two little spots on his back.
She said: “Only two hours later we had to say goodbye to our big boy.
“He developed meningococcal septicaemia meningitis, and it took his life in four hours.”
She described her little boy as having the biggest heart and most infectious smile you could imagine.
She added: “We never imagined when we tucked him into bed Sunday night that our world would be gone by Monday morning.
“The main thing I knew about meningitis was the rash, but, in reality, once the rash has broken it’s too late.
“I can’t put into words how the loss of our little boy has devastated my life.”
To donate visit www.justgiving.com/Hayley-Orme
Torfaen Riding Club is holding a fundraising day in memory of Shae on Sunday June 1.