Friends and family remembering Sam, Neil and Kazumi

Posted by stuff4sam on June 4, 2009

While we are truly touched by all the thoughts and kind words sent by people who didn’t know the family, we wanted to create a space where those who knew the Putticks can leave their messages and share their memories. If you knew them, please add your message as a comment on this post.

One of the last things Neil and Kazumi said was ‘please don’t forget Sam’. All the messages and tributes here show that this wish is being fulfilled.

If you didn’t know the Putticks but would like to share your thoughts please leave a comment on the announcement post (tragic news) or their Spinal Research memorial page.

29 Responses to “Friends and family remembering Sam, Neil and Kazumi”

  1. Marie said

    I have known Kazumi and Neil for nearly 6 yrs and Sam for 5 yrs as we were pregnant together and had our babies a week apart, more recent our chldren were in the same class at school. They were truly special people who will always be in my heart. They always had time for others and were the best parents Sam could have wished for. Im so glad they are now all together in a special place and at peace. You will be truly missed, God Bless this special family x

  2. Sharon P (RNIB) said

    You are now in a beautiful place together. you have touched so many people over the years. Although i didn’t work directly with Neil, we used to bump into each other in the kitchen and have a chat as you do about your family. I remember the last time i saw all 3 of them when they came to see us at work. All 3 of them were smiling and that is the picture i will remember of them.

    rest in peace always and forever


  3. My heart goes out to everyone touched by the events of this week. It is very hard to come to terms with what has happened, but I hope the fond memories of the positive way in which Neil and his family lived their lives will bring comfort to everyone feeling the pain of grieving. I knew Neil from the time we were colleagues at RNIB and agree wholeheartedly with the many, many tributes to him. A kind and gentle soul, devoted to his family. God bless them all. My love as well to their many RNIB friends and particularly Henny and Hugh whose love and support clearly brought Neil’s family so much happiness.

  4. Louise said

    Neil was the nicest person I’ve ever met. He was kind, friendly and incredibly patient and polite. Even though I am deeply saddened about what has happened, I still can’t help smiling when I think of Neil. He loved Sam so much – he always used to talk about how he was bursting with excitement at the thought of going home to see Sam in the evening. Neil, Kazumi and Sam are often in my thoughts and will continue to be.

  5. Sally Cain (RNIB) said

    I worked with Neil whilst he was at RNIB. He was an amazing person who could never do enough for you and nothing was too much trouble. We had many laughs and shared stories of having a small baby. When Sam’s accident happened I felt a particular kind of sympathy as my daughter was the same age as Sam. I could only begin to imagine how I would feel if my daughter had been through what Sam had. I knew though that Neil’s strengths as a person and as a parent meant that Sam would want for nothing. Although I did not know Kazumi, it was clear to all what a wonderful mother she was.
    I strongly wanted to participate in any way I could to support the family and became the RNIB Birmingham office fundraiser for Stuff4Sam. It was an honour and a pleasure to raise money for Sam and I know that he had many hours of joy with his equipment as a result.
    This devastating news has shocked us all and many of us are struggling to come to terms with it, but one thing is certain. No parents could have loved their child more and no little boy could have been happier. Thinking of all friends and family at this time and much love to you.

  6. Jo said

    We met Neil and Kazumi at antenatal classes 6 years ago now and were in hospital together as Sam and our son Lewis were born days apart. we had such a lovely baby group we all got together most weeks as the kids grew up and we all formed such a close friendship, such happy memories!
    The boys went on to go to school together where we’d always bump into Neil and Kazumi on the school run, will miss seeing them so much and will always remember Sam’s cheeky,gorgeous little smile! We will never forget you guys and how amazing you all were a true inspiration to everyone,you will all be greatly missed. All our love always xxx

  7. sarah jones said

    To our dear, lovely,thoughtful friends. We were so blessed to meet you nearly 6 years ago at ante-natal class. Who would have known then where our lives would go. We feel so privilaged to have had you in our lives. You will always be in our thoughts and hearts. If every parent could be half as dedicated and devoted as you were then the world would be a better place.

    All we can wish is that you are all happy together in a better place than this cruel world and that our beautiful Sammie is a healthy, happy little boy. If so we all know you will all be smiling and laughing as we always remember you doing through every part of your short lives.
    We love you all and miss you more than words can say!
    All our love and thoughts forever Sarah, Tim, Bethany and Thomas
    P.S We will always remember play mobil Tim xx

  8. Jane Brake said

    Sammy attended Little Cuckoos Pre-School with my two boys and they shared a passion for tractors! Daniel had a special bond with Sammy and if he had a new toy tractor or implement, he couldn’t wait to show Sammy and him likewise.

    Sammy would come over to our farm to see the maize harvesting, silaging, combining, etc. My fondest memory was when he first was able to control his wheelchair himself (using his mouth). There were two sensors on the front of the wheelchair which were like prongs. Daniel and Sammy decided that the calves needed more straw in their pens and Daniel loaded Sammy up with straw onto his prongs and Sammy would drive down to the pens and Daniel would unload the straw. This went on for ages. Sammy was covered in straw, but they had so much fun!

    What a lovely family. Neil and Kazumi were so enthusiastic and utterly devoted to Sammy. Rest in peace together, we shall really miss you.

    Every time I saw Sammy his huge lovely smile greeted me – I shall keep that memory forever.

    • Anonymous said

      I saw Neil very shortly before Sam Died and he spoke of Daniel and what a special friend he had been to Sam. Neil had asked me to contact you and make sure you knew what had happen to Sam. so I’m so glad to have seen your comment here.

    • abc said

      I was with Neil shortly before Sam died and he mentioned Daniel as a special friend. I’m sure they will be very pleased with your tribute.

  9. Emma said

    Neil, Kazumi and Sam – we will all miss you so very much. Sam was another nephew to me. We would tease mum about Sam’s school photo being proudly placed in-front of ours on the mantelpiece – there it will forever remain. When you moved into our barn we knew we’d converted it for a reason – to give kids like Sam somewhere to be kids – I wish you never moved out. Weekends will not be the same – I will always expect you to be popping over to feed the lambs, mow the lawn (Sam’s latest trick where he would push the mower himself) or play by the pond. I am just numb and heartbroken with the loss of such a wonderful family – I will always carry you in my heart. Sam’s smile would always cheer me up and Neil’s enthusiasm and Kazumi’s kind words bring us all so much happiness.

    I don’t normally do things like this but we should talk about them and keep their memory alive.

    I know that you are together – Dad will give you all tractor rides forever more.

    With eternal love xxxx

  10. Debbie (RNIB) said

    I worked with Neil at RNIB from November 2002 until the time of Sam’s tragic accident. Neil was one of those rare people you come across in life. He was a really nice guy!

    We were devastated by the news of the accident and found it hard to comprehend how within seconds a family’s lives can change so dramatically. Neil never returned to work. From that day onwards, he had to deal with the recovery of his wife and his baby son.

    Desperate to support the family, we started to raise money because we knew their needs would be great and we knew that they would never ask for help. It started with birthday collections and the major push came from Henny when she did her amazing dog sleigh trek in the artic.

    The following years were soon busy with sponsored walks, cycles, runs and toddles taking place all over the UK. As Sam’s condition stabilised and he came home, we were able to find out what specific needs we could help with. To give Sam the best chance in life, he needed equipment that would help to exercise his muscles and his heart. He also needed a buggy so that they could take him outside and into the countryside that he grew to love so much.

    We were stunned by the support we were given. Everyone who heard of Sam wanted to help and wanted to hear how he was getting on. We were given auction and raffle prizes, venues, time and of course money.

    The “stuffsam” website was created to not only record the fundraising efforts but also as a way to share knowledge and information about the type of disabilites that Sam and his family were dealing with. It also provided a way to share the world with Sam. Sam’s friends, inspired by Henny’s original “Hi Sam” message from the arctic were soon sending their own “Hi Sam” messages from around the globe.

    The fundraising was coming to an end this spring as it was clear that Sam’s needs were now being met through other channels. Neil was hopeful that people would support Spinal Research as their work will one day bring the breakthrough that will help children like Sam. And sadly there are other children in his position. Other families who are trying to give their children as normal a life as possible.

    It is all too easy to pass judgment on others. I hope that Sam’s life and story will inspire people to think again and to try to find ways to help their own friends and neighbours who are in need.

    We know that Neil and Kazumi found great comfort and support in the fundraising we did. We know how much they valued the website that enabled them to stay connected with us. That love and support for them will always be there and this website and all the messages will be part of a lasting tribute to them.

    As I am writing this, I still find it hard to think that they are no longer with us. I am moved by the flow of messages that show that people understand. I am moved by the great support of Neil’s special friends, Hugh and Madeleine, as they deal with the media.

    I am so sad that this is how it has ended. I will never forget Sam’s smile – the one he gave me shyly when he came to see us in the office last year.

    Sam, you inspired me to go to China, to do a 5k run, to make and sell bags, cushions and jewellery, to organise a fabulous party and to appreciate every minute of every day.

    I will never forget the positive way that Neil and Kazumi dealt with your difficulties and how inspirational they were in giving you as normal a life as they could.

    Rest in peace Sam, Neil and Kazumi.


  11. Louise voisey said

    In the short time I have known the family they all touched my heart. Sam stole the heart of my 5 year old daughter who was in the sam class as him. Not a day went by that she did not have somthing to say about sam. I remeber her telling me she had decided she would marry him when she was older. The day we heard about his passing was a struggle for my little girl. all she could say was now who will I marry mummy. My heart broke all over again that day. Sam will never be forgotton and neither will Neil, Kazumi. They were the nicest people anyone could meet and adored the grounds he wheeled over so fast 🙂 I hope they have found there peace together they so deserve. My daughter wish to send a note to Sam and his parents so we will be releaseing some ballons with notes on, letters to heaven as she calls them. and still to this day not a day goes by that she does not mention dearset sam and his parents.

  12. Anonymous said

    I was also lucky enough to have been part of the same antenatal group others have mentioned and met Kazumi and Neil back in 2004.

    Kazumi and Neil were such kind, gentle people and the most dedicated of parents. Sam was beautiful and always full of smiles.

    No words can express the sadness I feel at their loss. I will never forget you, your dedication and love for your son is inspirational.

    May you rest in peace ad be happy together

    Love Always


  13. Sarah said

    I worked with Neil at Hemmington Scott financial publishers in London for several years. He was such a lovely, softly spoken, funny and genuine guy. We unfortunately lost touch but I am utterly shocked by this tragic news. God bless all three of you – all together now.

    lots of love


  14. Anonymous said

    Japan Airlines

    For the past 3 years Neil, Kazumi and Sam travelled to Japan with Japan Airlines. All the staff who came into contact with them were touched by Sam’s smiling face and the total devotion of his parents.
    Their last trip was in April this year and on their return Neil sent us all an e mail which contained the following comment.

    “We had a great time in Japan.
    Sam zoomed around Japan in his electric chair, so free and happy.”

    This is the way we would like to remember them.
    Our thoughts are with their family and close friends at this sad time.

    On behalf of all the Japan Airlines staff in London and Tokyo.

  15. Rachel (RNIB) said

    I worked with Neil at RNIB and particularly remember him as exceptionally kind, courteous and helpful – the sort of person you always feel better for having spoken to. It was lovely to see them all when they visited the office last year – and despite all the upheavals, distress and emotion they’d been through, Neil’s wonderful manner was still the same. He was so proud of Sam. I can’t believe they are not with us any more, as fundraising and following Sam’s developments had been so much part of life at RNIB. They were a truly inspiring family. My thoughts are with their family and friends at this difficult time.


  16. Rachael said

    I have been lucky enough to have know Neil, Kazumi and Sammy for the past 2 years. Everyone else who has known them or has been lucky enough to have meet them would agree that they were an inspiration to us all. I never seen them without a smile, however hard life may have got for them.

    My son Luke and Sammy were best friends, every morning he would give me one of those special smile’s just before going into class. He always brighten my day!

    The last time i seen them was the last friday of school term, they came round for cuppa just after we dropped the kids off at school. They said that they wanted to do a bbq in the half term and said that they would ring. Then Kazumi had to try and stop neil from talking as they had to get back for the work men. All so normal and now i can’t believe they have gone.

    Life won’t be the same without them, they made such an impact on our life’s.

    You will all be so missed, but you will be in our hearts forever. The morning’s isn’t the same without Sammys smile. Luke wants sammy to know that he’ll always be his best friend!

    Rest in peace

    Rachael x

  17. Amanda Greenwood said

    I have moved to Cornwall now but I met Neil and Kazumi in the antenatal classes. I didn’t know anyone as I’d just moved to Westbury and I was so lucky to meet such fantastic, friendly people. We would meet up regularly at each other’s houses for support and a gossip. We would drink lots of tea and coffee and do all the silly things new mum’s do. The babies would dribble over each other and life was good. We’d always comment on how gorgeous Sam was. He was always so happy and his smile melted your heart. I have a photo of all the babies in a circle with their heads together, smiling away, which I just keep looking at. I can’t believe that they have gone. It is just so heartbreaking. Neil, Kazumi and Sam, it was a privilege to know you and you will always be in our thoughts. I hope now you are together and at peace.

    Mandy, Matt, Mawgan(Sam’s little friend) and Issey

    Thinking of you all in Westbury x

  18. Casey & Sophie said

    Neither of us could believe it when we heard the news.

    In 2006, when we were in our final year of Primary school, our Yr6 teacher, Sam’s Godparent, encouraged our class to help raise money for Sam for a new bike to help with his disability. Even though none of us knew Sam, we wanted so badly to help him and organised many events througout the school to help him.

    We were truly heartbroken when we heard the news. We just hope Sam and his very devoted parents are now at peace. Deepest sympathy to his family and we wish that God watches over them during this difficult time ….x.x.x

  19. Stuart said

    I was fortunate enough to know Neil Kazumi and Sam through unfortunate circumstances. I provided the FES Cycle that Sam used as part of his continuous rehab.

    I always dreamed that one day Neil would be proved right and was impressed by the way Neil and Kazumi dedicated their efforts to Sam.

    I hope you are all running and playing together on the other side.

    Sam you truly were a fighter and Neil and Kazumi alowed you to be the little boy that you were meant to be.

    You truly were the miracle Neil and Kazumi were so proud of.

    Be happy in your future path.


  20. Sam, I love You, we always remember you.
    Surely you are happy now with ur lovable family.
    from Akio & family in Indonesia.


  21. Claudia said

    I worked with Neil some years back while I was at RNIB. I remember forever asking him for help with website work, often at short notice, but he was always so helpful, friendly and calm – a true gentleman.
    From what I’ve read in newspapers about Neil and Kazumi’s dedication to their wonderful son, he obviously had the most incredible parents and his short life was filled with so much love and happiness.
    I hope you are all together now and at peace. My sincere condolences to the family and friends you leave behind.
    Kind regards

  22. Paul McDonald (RNIB) said

    I also worked with Neil at RNIB and he truly was one of the most lovely people I’ve ever met.

    I’m so shocked and upset at the news.

    God bless all three of you – you are together now.

    Rest in peace Sam, Neil and Kazumi.

    Love, Paul x

  23. Andy Stephens said

    Terribly sad news about Neil, Kasumi and Sam.

    I was a friend of Neil’s at university. He was a student of archeaology and his main preoccupation in those days concerned who should dress as Indiana Jones at fancy dress parties. He was a lovely guy with a huge heart and desire to do good and was often full of an air of excitement.

    When I last saw him he was busy commuting in London but was wonderfully excited about being married and being a new dad. I’m so sad that we didn’t catch up since and have the chance to meet Sam who sounds like he was such a charmer. I can imagine how devoted they would have been to each other. I am stunned to to hear of the terrible heartache for all of them. Its all so very sad and will be praying for comfort for all those close to them.

  24. Joanna said

    I never knew this family, but I saw their picture in the paper and could see what a loving family they were. Neil looked like such a kind man, Kazumi looked so loving and little Sam – such a happy child, despite what had befallen him.

    Makes you wonder at this crazy world that such tragedy could befall a family so close and loving.

    Really, really sad.

  25. Julie said

    I also worked with Neil at RNIB – such a kind, friendly, popular guy who always found time to help solve a problem. He, Kazumi and Sam will be greatly missed by so many. My heart goes out to their families and friends. May they rest in peace. Julie. xxx

  26. Anonymous said

    We remember Sam today on his birthday, with love

  27. Michael said

    I remember you all.

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