A FAMILY is raising money to pay for a funeral after a young dad died suddenly, aged 22.

Blake Wicks, from Colchester, was at his home when he unexpectedly died in the early hours of the morning.

It has devastated his family and his girlfriend, Holly, 24, with whom he had a young son, Leighton, who is 18 months old.

His brother, Dean, said: “It happened in the early hours of Wednesday whilst he was at home.

“Holly called one of my brothers who told me, and we all went there to be with him.

“The paramedics on scene believe it was a heart attack, but they are not sure, and we can’t be certain until the coroner’s report is released to us.”

Blake worked in Lidl and lived in Greenstead with girlfriend Holly and son Leighton, who he described as “his everything” and the “best thing that ever happened to him”.

Dean, 34, described Blake as a kind and genuine person who adored his family.

He said: “He was our baby brother.

“We are a family of six brothers, and he was a very special kid to us all, genuine, kind-hearted, he loved Holly and Leighton so much.

“We lost our dad to cancer in 2009, and Blake was only nine, so we had to support him a lot and we were all very protective over him.”

Now they are looking to raise money for Blake’s funeral as well as to support Holly and Leighton.

Dean said: “We want to give him the best send off, and also get whatever we can to help Holly.

“They were planning on moving house soon, so hopefully we can help with that.”

Dean is an avid fundraising runner, and is running the Manchester Marathon in April, and a 100km ultra marathon in July, which will both now be dedicated to his brother.

As a family, they are also looking to host a raffle, and are looking for other ways to raise as much money as possible.

The family have currently raised more than £2,000.

To help support Dean and their family, visit gofund.me/0dfd1003.