THE mother of a toddler who died after he was swept into the sea told today how internet abuse has left her feeling suicidal .
Speaking for the first time since the tragedy last November, Jadwiga Serasin, 28, said she had been accused of being “ a bad mother” by online trolls.
The death of three-year-old Eryk Cieraszewski, described as a “a tragic accident” by police, happened while on a family outing at Kirkcaldy Esplanade in Fife.
A wave knocked Eryk off his feet and dragged him backwards through a gap in the seafront wall.
Jadwiga, who was with her daughter, Oliwia, now five, had desperately tried to grab him as he was swept into the Firth of Forth.
Jadwiga said: “I go over it in my head every moment of the day. I dream about it at night. I keep wishing I’d jumped in after him. I could have died but I wish I had gone in.
“People talk about me on the internet. They say it’s my fault, that I’m a bad mother and that I’m stupid.
“Sometimes I think that I am a bad mother – if I hadn‘t taken him to the promenade that day nothing would ever have happened.”
She added: “Every day I feel bad. When I wake up in the morning I feel like I want to die. But I have to stay here for Oliwia. I have to stay strong for her.”
The single-mother, who moved to Fife from Krakow in 2006, said Eryk was “begging” to get out to the beach the day he died.
She said: “It was a nice day. The sun was out and Eryk was begging me to take him to the beach. ‘Just 10 or 20 minutes’ he was saying.
“I was tired after working late but I agreed because he loved being out in the sun.”
Jadwiga recalled the moment when she witnessed her son being swept away right before her eyes.
She said: “Eryk and Oliwia were splashing in the puddles, about two metres away from the break wall. I took my camera out to take a picture and a big wave came over and took him away.
“I went into shock. I started screaming but I was so panicked that I could only speak in Polish.
“People couldn’t understand me so I went through the gap myself. I waded in up to my waist. Oliwia was crying ‘Don’t leave me mummy, don’t leave me’.”
A lifeboat plucked Eryk from the water but no pulse was found and the tot was then rushed ashore when resuscitation attempts were made in an ambulance.
Eryk was rushed to Victoria Hospital only a few hundred yards away where medical staff battled for over an hour and a half to try and revive him.
Doctors were unable to save the youngster and he was pronounced dead with mum Jadwiga at his side.
Seven months on, Oliwia is struggling in coming to terms with the death of her brother.
Jadwiga said: “When she goes to school in the morning she tells me that Eryk should be coming too. She think’s he’s still here. Sometimes she won’t leave. She waits for him.
“The school are very good. They explain to her that he’s gone. But she doesn’t believe it. When we go shopping she tells me to buy things for him, like clothes. It’s heartbreaking.”
But it’s not just Oliwia that’s struggling. Eryk’s room has been left exactly as it was from the day of his death.
Jadwiga said: “Eryk’s room has not been touched. His toys, his clothes are all there. I like to smell him on his clothes.”
Fife councillor Mark Hood was on the promenade the day of the accident.
He said: “I saw the mother and the look of anguish on her face will stay with me forever.
“It was probably the worst thing I have ever witnessed – she was in complete and utter distress.”
Mr Hood, who is the father of twins, reckoned that danger to kids and families were not “immediately obvious” and that the internet trolls should not be blaming Jadwiga for the death of young Eryk.
He said: “The Esplanade was busy with lots of families. People were attracted by the large waves and there were lots of kids there who were wet. There was a lot of water coming out but I’ve seen it worse.
“I certainly wouldn’t blame the mother in any way. There was little anyone could have done.”