Kuppan, a construction worker from Thiruninravur and his wife Bhagyalakshmi, were planning to celebrate their son's first birthday on June 14 with family and friends. But in a tragic turn of events on Monday evening, their son died.

Bhagyalakshmi was walking down the stairs from the couple's first floor thatched home, holding 11-month-old Nithesh under one arm and carrying his tiny rocking chair in her other hand. She tripped on her night gown and fell eight feet to the ground, along with the infant. The stairs did not have railings. Both mother and child were injured, and Kuppan's parents, Rajalingam and Muniyamma, who resided on the ground floor, rushed them immediately to a private hospital. “Bhagyalakshmi was fine but our son suffered severe head injuries and we had to take him to the Children's Hospital in Egmore,” Kuppan told The Hindu.

Infant Nithesh was later referred to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, but died on Monday night, unresponsive to treatment.

“Due to financial difficulties we were completing the construction of our house in stages. We had planned to convert our thatched house into a concrete structure and we also planned to fix railings on the stairs. If I had built those railings, I could have saved our child,” added Kuppan, who was in tears.

A post-mortem examination of Nithesh's body was carried out at GH on Tuesday afternoon, and the body was handed over to the family.

The couple also have a two-year-old daughter.

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