A popular teacher has died after falling ill on his first day back at school following a holiday abroad during half term.
Josh Brooker, 27, had returned from Vietnam when tragedy struck on his first day of term at Hope Academy in Merseyside.
Doctors believe he was bitten by an insect while in Vietnam which then caused a blood infection.
He fell ill while in the classroom in Newton-le-Willows and developed feverish symptoms, Liverpool Echo reports.
Josh was then rushed to Liverpool Royal Hospital on September 3 after the infection had spread to his lungs and he was placed into intensive care.
He was soon transferred to Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester where his condition continued to deteriorate.
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Doctors told his family that the staphylococcus bacteria that caused the infection was likely to have entered Josh's bloodstream due to the insect bite.
On October 1, after spending almost a month in hospital, Josh tragically passed away in intensive care at Wythenshawe Hospital.
Dad James, who described his son as “kind, thoughtful and gentle”, said: "Josh developed a bacterial infection from an insect bite. It got into his bloodstream which and caused abscesses close to his spine and in his lungs.
"He went travelling there on his own for the length of the school summer holidays. When he came back he told me it was the best thing he'd ever done.
"I picked him up from Manchester airport and he said he felt a bit under the weather and he had a bit of a cold.
"He came back and we didn't think much of it and he went back to work.
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"He went in to school for an inset day but he said he began to feel really rough.
"The next day he tried to get a GP appointment but he could only get one that evening so he went to A&E.
"Josh's sister called me the next day told me that Josh was in hospital with an infection.
"Staff at the hospital noticed that he had an insect bite on his head which had become very sore and infected.
"A few days later he had to be sedated and was placed in intensive care.
"The infection gradually wore his body down and it then attacked his lungs and he became unable to breathe on his own.
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"We were there every day by his side until the end. It was horrific. No parent should have to see their child die."
James added: "The staff at the Royal and at Wythenshawe Hsopital were uniformly superb and I want to thank them for everything they did to try and save Josh. They did absolutely everything they could. "
Josh moved to Liverpool as a student, studying at the University of Liverpool before he graduated in 2014.
He trained to become a teacher at Liverpool Hope University and lived in the city.
James said: "Josh was kind, thoughtful, and gentle. He was fun and he had a great sense of humour. His friends say he would always be up for a party but he was the sensible one.
"He fell in love with Liverpool when we took him here to the University open day. He never wanted to be anywhere else."
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Josh's family also thanked staff and students at the Hope Academy school.
James said: "The school has been just brilliant.
"When Josh was in hospital I started writing emails to the school to update them on what was happening.
"The headteacher invited us to the school to meet Josh's colleagues and to see his classroom. That was a lovely thing for us because we had never seen where he worked.
"The way the school has gone about celebrating his life is incredible. They made a prayer wall with post-it notes where students have written kind messages.
"The school also sent us a memories box which the students and staff have written messages in which have helped us to grieve.
"Some of those are heartbreaking and made us cry. Some of them made us laugh out loud.
"A couple of weeks ago they held a celebration devoted to Josh that was themed around his life. They had a week of it and sent stuff on to us.
"It's the most lovely thing to know how much he touched the lives of others and it has really helped us.
"He loved working with the kids there and he would always talk about them in such a loving way."
James told the Liverpool Echo that the family is now raising money for the Hope Care Fund, which helps provide after school activities for disadvantaged pupils, in Josh's memory.
He added: "The Hope Care Fund is in line with Josh's passions. It supports disadvantaged pupils through after school sports clubs and gardening.
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"Josh was passionate about supporting the physical and emotional wellbeing of the pupils and this is something he deeply cared about."
Marie Adams, Head of School at the Hope Academy told the Liverpool Echo: "Josh was part of our extended family. He was caring, kind and brought joy to his colleagues and students.
"Although taken far too soon, Josh accomplished many things in the time he spent with us- and these are the reasons why his memory will live on at Hope Academy and our wider community.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this very difficult time."
A link to the Hope Care fundraiser in Josh's memory can be found here.
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