‘We want to do something special to remember Alan'
Over the weekend of April 29-30, Kate Fisher, husband Scott and sons Tom and Ben, will be cycling from London - Winchester - Bristol as a tribute to Kate's brother Alan who died of SUDEP. Alan would have been 60 on May 8 this year.
"My only brother Alan died of SUDEP, aged just 27.
His epilepsy diagnosis was a huge shock. Alan had always led a very full and active life. However, he was determined to continue to live the full and active life he had been used to.
We grew up in Bristol and Alan attended the QEH School, where he threw himself into school life, excelling at rugby – representing Bristol and then the South of England Schools. He qualified as a barrister, having studied law at King’s College and then completing Bar School in London. He gained a position in Pump Court Chambers and moved to Winchester Chambers in 1989.
Alan suffered an accident in May 1990 and following this, was diagnosed with epilepsy. He was given medication to control this condition but never warned about the risks of SUDEP. Alan had two further seizures before suffering a fatal seizure in his sleep on December 4, 1990.
Following Alan’s death, his partner Jane Hanna (now SUDEP Action CEO) spoke on BBCs Watchdog programme. My mum Sheila and Jane began a campaign, along with others who came forward with similar stories, and Epilepsy Bereaved (the former name of SUDEP Action) was started in 1995. At the time, SUDEP was not known or recognised at all, apart from by a handful of researchers.
Things have changed a lot, thankfully.
May 8th, 2023 would have been Alan’s 60th birthday. Having raised funds for SUDEP Action in the past we wanted to recognise this date with even bigger and better fundraising than before.
Over the weekend of April 29-30, me, my husband Scott and sons Tom and Ben will be cycling between significant key landmarks in Alan’s life. We will ride from King’s College in London to Winchester on day one, then from Winchester to Bristol on the Sunday. The ride will cover around 150 miles.
Then on Bank Holiday Monday May 8th, we will be hosting a garden party for Alan’s old friends, family, and friends of ours, many of whom never knew Alan – but have supported me over the past 32 years since his sudden death."
Catherine Fisher is fundraising for SUDEP Action (justgiving.com)