Alby Davis, from Tasmania, passed away on Monday afternoon – after playing with the ball that had arrived earlier that morning in a package filled with party favours for his upcoming birthday.
‘The ball became stuck in his windpipe, preventing his ability to breathe, and in a matter of seconds, despite his mama's frantic attempts to save him, he passed away in her arms,’ a family friend wrote on a GoFundMe page set up for the devastated family.
On Tuesday, Alby’s mother, Anna - who runs a toy business called The Small Folk - paid tribute to her son.
‘Yesterday afternoon, our beautiful, beautiful Alby, our darling baby boy, grew wings and flew from this earth,’ she posted to Instagram.
‘Minutes pass like hours and the gaping hole in our lives and hearts is completely incomprehensible. We adore you beyond belief, our sweet little fox. Forever three, forever free.’
Later, she uploaded a photograph of Alby – taken just 40 minutes before he died – showing him excitedly snuggled beneath a new doona cover he had received.
‘“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,’ Anna wrote.
‘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.’
To support the family click here.
This article originally appeared on New Idea.