THE family of a young man who died suddenly and unexpectedly have donated a piece of lifesaving equipment to his old school.
Mark Abbott, 18, of Newington Avenue, Southend, died in hospital from sudden adult death syndrome after collapsing at Mayhem nightclub in January last year.
The teenager was studying the a computer games industry course at South Essex College.
Yesterday teachers at his former school, Cecil Jones College, in Wentworth Road, Southend, were taught how to use their new defibrillator.
It was donated by Mark’s family – parents Sue and Simon, sister Leanne, 25, and brothers Jamie, 26, and Luke 17 – through SADS UK. The charity aims to get the machines, which shock peoples’ hearts in order to restart them, into all schools.
Jamie, 26, said: “He was a cheeky chappie who just enjoyed life. He was as good a friend as you can get.
“We had a lot of people wanting to make donations in his memory after we lost him, so we looked around and decided this waswhat we wanted to do.
“It is an unexpected thing and after speaking to SADS UK we’ve become aware of all sorts of things, like the fact that if there’s a defibrillator present your chance of survival goes up from about five per cent to 50 per cent.”
Gordon Bamber, assistant headteacher at the school, said: “Mark was a nice young chap who had his whole life ahead of him.
“Death is never a good thing, but when it’s so untimely it’s all the more shocking.
“We were pleased to be approached by the family and to be able to have this piece of equipment in the school.
“If it only ever stopped one loss of life it will prove its worth, but it is something we do hope we will never have to use.”
For more information about the condition, visit www.sadsuk.org.uk