Family friend: Taj Thompson with Dr. Dena Lister, principal of Dame Marjorie Bean Hope Academy. *Photo supplied
Family friend: Taj Thompson with Dr. Dena Lister, principal of Dame Marjorie Bean Hope Academy. *Photo supplied
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The sudden death of 20-year-old Taj Thompson is the second tragedy to hit his family.

Relatives found Mr. Thompson’s lifeless body at home in Scott’s Hill Road, Somerset, just three days after Christmas.

The student has been described as “the life and soul” of Dame Marjorie Bean Hope Academy.

Mr. Thompson’s death comes after his sister Lavaj Thompson died in a road accident when she was just eight.

Mr. Thompson was rushed to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital at about 11:20am on Tuesday, December 28, but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Mr. Thompson was born with a disability and an exact cause of death will only be known once an autopsy has been carried out.

He leaves behind his parents Roxanne Thompson and Michael ‘Skinny’ Smith and older brother Michael Thompson.

His family are said to be “heartbroken but coping the best they can.”

Dr. Dena Lister, family friend and principal of Dame Marjorie Bean Hope Academy, said: “He was very outgoing and very friendly. He was the life and soul of the school.

“He had the job as the school’s professional greeter as he loved to welcome people as they came through the door. He would assist parents and students as they came in.

“He also loved to help push around children in their wheelchairs.”

Mr. Thompson attended the school for at least eight years and was said to have been “a pleasure” to have as a student.

Dr. Lister said he had proudly played a starring role in the school’s nativity play on December 7.

She said: “He was the innkeeper and he said his lines so loudly and clearly. He did such a nice job, we could tell he was very proud as he took a bow.”

Mr. Thompson had not been ill and had attended school as usual until the end of last term on December 15.

Dr. Lister has been principal at Dame Marjorie Bean Hope Academy for three years. Before this she was previously assistant principal at Sandys Secondary School, where Mr. Thompson was also a student.

But she has known Mr. Thompson all his life as she went to school with his mother and they were both pregnant at the same time. Both families also live in the same neighbourhood.

Dr. Lister said she had received a call from Ms Thompson hours after her son had died.

She said: “I was devastated, I still am.

“I’d known him all his life and we had a special bond.

“He will be sorely missed. He will always hold a very, very special place in my heart.”

A celebration of Mr. Thompson’s life takes place at Beulah Tabernacle in Sandys today at 3pm.