Caden Beggan's dad releases Christmas song for Yorkhill

Losing a child is every parent’s worst nightmare.

For David and Angela Beggan, that nightmare became reality as their six-year-old son lost his month-long battle with meningitis and blood poisoning.

Motherwell schoolboy Caden died on November 20. Over the course of his four week fight, 52,000 people from across the world followed emotional updates of his brave journey on Facebook - offering their support, well wishes and prayers.

When his Christian singer-songwriter dad David and the family were first approached by someone with the idea of releasing a song in memory of the little boy who loved dinosaurs and pirates, they dismissed it thinking it would be inappropriate.

But as they mourned and tried to come to terms with the loss of their little “dinosaur guy”, David decided that if he could help other children fighting life-threatening illnesses by releasing a song in memory of his son, then at least something positive would come out of the tragedy that has turned his family’s lives upside down.

"The song is really a memorial for Caden. It’s a way of remembering Caden, it’s a way of honouring Caden," said dad David, dressed in flat cap and fitted shirt, channelling “cool dude” Caden's 'Oxford' style.

"And one of the best ways we thought we could honour Caden would be to help other children.

"The last thing that I would want for anyone is to have to go through the heartache and the pain we’ve been through in losing Caden.

"We wouldn’t wish it on our worst enemy. We certainly hate the thought of other parents and children enduring what we, and Caden, endured.

"If we can do something to help save lives, then we want to be able to do that."

Along with Scottish band Union State, which comprises of David and mum Angela's close friends and family; Coatbridge singer-songwriter JJ Gilmour of The Silencers; and Graeme Duffin, guitarist in Wet Wet Wet, David recorded Caden’s Song (My First Christmas) to raise money for Yorkhill children's hospital.

With the help of Sandy Jones and David Lyon of the Foundry Music Lab in Motherwell, they were able to pull together and record the song in just one day – despite drummer Kenny McBride only hearing it for the first time that morning.

Originally written by David in 2004 for a church Christmas concert, My First Christmas was about his first Christmas seeing God as his father. But to honour Caden, the melody was tweaked, the lyrics re-written, and the title changed.

David, 44, said: "We wanted to say thank you to Yorkhill Hospital and all of the medical teams there especially the ‘Blue Angels’ who were so compassionate to Caden and ourselves."

"Really the song was about the first Christmas that I had seeing God as my father. So then I wove into that my relationship as a father to Caden. So really it's about my love for him, and my first Christmas with Caden and the joy that brought.

Yorkhill's Royal Hospital for Sick Children has set up the Caden Beggan Memorial Fund which will help and support sick children across Scotland and the Beggan family aim to raise £40,000 to allow the hospital to buy an Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation machine - life support equipment that Caden used during his fight with meningococcal septicaemia.

Shona Cardle, chief executive at Yorkhill Children’s Foundation, said they are "honoured" to have created a fund in Caden's memory that will help sick children across the country.

She said: "In light of the very sad loss of Caden Beggan, we are honoured to have established the Caden Beggan Memorial Fund at Yorkhill Children’s Foundation.

"We hope to honour and celebrate the life of a very special little boy for many years to come, providing a legacy that will ultimately help and support sick children and their families from throughout Scotland and beyond.

"We would like to also give our full backing to Caden’s Song (My First Christmas). This is a beautiful song, which we would like to encourage people to download.

"Please help us to remember Caden Beggan, an incredibly special little boy, whose memory will go on to help support other sick children across Scotland."

"We wanted to say thank you to Yorkhill Hospital and all of the medical teams there especially the ‘Blue Angels’ who were so compassionate to Caden and ourselves."

Having a goal in sight and a purpose of trying to help other children is providing some solace for the family as they grieve and try to come to terms with their loss.

David said: "We are all in mourning for Caden and it has been a really difficult time. We miss him more than we can say.

"Christmas will be extremely difficult. Especially for Caden's brothers, Declan [12] and Ethan [three]."

He added: "We have been so grateful for all of the support and prayers offered on our behalf so far and want to wish everyone who has supported us a happy Christmas and a peaceful new year."

Caden's Song (My First Christmas) is available to download from iTunes with all proceeds going to the Caden Beggan Memorial Fund.

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