Parents' tribute to tragic Ben with Disney-themed football match

Parents' tribute to tragic Ben with Disney-themed football match

By Gareth Dennison | 26/04/2018

Parents' tribute to tragic Ben with Disney-themed football match
Ben Heap

A CHARITY which supported a couple after the sudden death of their son will be among the causes to benefit from a memorial night and football match.

Disney fan Ben Heap (27), who died last February, was found to have died from Sudep — sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.

His family, including parents Mel and Chris, have been helped by Sudep Action, which provides bereavement counselling and funds research.

Mel (54) said: “We had to wait almost three months to get results from the coroner and we had never heard of Sudep.

“With help from Sudep Action, we have gained information which we want others to know about, to save them the heartbreak we are going through every day.”

She added: “I was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression and the charity suggested a counsellor.

“It would have taken months going through the NHS but thanks to Sudep Action I was able to get specialist support from people who actually knew what had happened with Ben.

“Everyone deals with it differently. And when you’re a parent who has lost a child, it’s completely different to losing a parent.”

The charity is also compiling profile information of people known to have died from Sudep. Mel, of Kimberworth, said: “They research the cause of why you should pass in your sleep because you have epilepsy. 

“It’s something no-one knows the answer to. But it seems to be on the increase and they want to push the Government to look at it.”

A Bedknobs and Broomsticks-themed match will take place at 11am on Sunday at the Millmoor juniors pitch, Kimberworth.

Mel said: “The lads from the football have been absolutely astounding in their support. They did the draw for the football live on Facebook and there was quite a lot of banter about the match.”

This will be followed by the celebration of Ben’s life at the Manor Barn next Friday from 7.30pm.

Chris’ workplace — delivery form DPD — has pledged to match the total raised by both events. 

This will be split between Sudep Action and the Robert Ogden School in Thurnscoe, which Ben attended until he was 19.

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