A County Durham mum who lost her teenage son in tragic circumstances has raised money to ensure nobody else has to go through the same anguish.
Seventeen-year-old Will Bentham died suddenly last August after a cardiac arrest, having previously been diagnosed as suffering from gastroenteritis.
And now his mother Lisa has been working to support the Red Sky Foundation – and has raised money for two defibrillators to be installed near her home at Pelaw View Centre, Sherburn Road and at a near-by branch of Whitfields Chemists.
Lisa and other residents of the Sherburn Road estate organised a whole host of fundraising activities to help raise enough money to buy the two vital machines – which can save lives in the event of someone having a cardiac arrest.
“I would hate anyone else to go through what we’ve been through,” she said.
“And who knows, if we had access to one it might have made a difference to Will.
“Everyone has been 100 percent behind us on the estate and their support has been incredible.”
Lisa contacted the Red Sky Foundation, set up by Sunderland couple, Sergio and Emma Petrucci, as a thank you to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital which carried out life-saving surgery on their little girl.
Since its launch five years ago, the Foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to buy vital equipment for the hospital and funded a campaign to install defibrillators in towns and cities across the North East.
“It has been amazing to have Lisa support us and raise money for the defibrillators,” said Sergio.
“She is definitely one of our Red Sky Angels, the name we’re giving to those people who are supporting the charity and helping us.
“We know those minutes after a cardiac arrest are vital and having a defibrillator close at hand can literally make the difference between life and death in some cases.”
Lisa is now determined to continue to raise money for the Red Sky Foundation and to give the charity her support.
“Emma and Sergio are absolutely fantastic and what they do is helping so many people,” she said.
“I want to do whatever I can to stop any other family suffering in the way that we have.”
Sergio added that the charity would love to hear from anyone else who would like to support their campaign and become a Red Sky Angel.
Further information about the Red Sky Foundation is available at www.redskyfoundation.com.