SUDEP Action

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Raising awareness in memory of Ellis Powell


Sophie Hawkins, whose best friend Ellis Powell died from Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) in January 2013, has been busy raising awareness in her memory.  

On 13 November 2013, Sophie and her friend David Sutton bravely jumped from a plane at 12,000ft raising £1,800 for SUDEP Action.  They had suffered a nervous wait after their jump was postponed on 26th October due to bad weather.  They finally managed to sky-dive on 13 November 2013 raising much needed funds for SUDEP Action which works to prevent unnecessary epilepsy deaths.    

Twenty one year old Sophie talked about their reason for doing the sky-dive saying: “Dave and I wanted to do something to raise money for SUDEP Action in Ellis's memory for so many reasons. SUDEP Action is a phenomenal charity that has provided us all with information and support since we lost our wonderful friend. We really want to be able to ensure Ellis' death was not in vain, and raising money in her memory is just the most wonderful way to leave a legacy she would be proud of.” 

Remembering her friend Ellis and how she inspired her to raise awareness, Sophie said: “Ellis was just the most incredible girl, a beautiful dancer, hilarious, an avid Harry Potter fan - who had true magic running through her, and the money we have raised together will help to ensure the world does not lose more people like Ellis."

"We are not adrenalin seekers, and we were completely terrified we were sitting at the door of the plane, 12,000ft up! But by doing something that scared us so much, we have raised over £1800 for SUDEP Action, and I am sure Ellis would have been watching us, and had a good old laugh at our expense!”

Sophie attended the SUDEP Action Annual General Meeting in London on 16 November 2013.  Sophie also produced an awareness raising radio feature.  As part of the feature, Sophie talked to Ellis’ mum Sharon Cole about how epilepsy affected her daughter’s life.  It also featured SUDEP Action Fundraising and Operations Manager Rachel Groves who talked about epilepsy risk. 

Rachel commented: “I found it so inspiring meeting Sophie, as her energy in memory of Ellis shines out of her and reminds me why our work is so important. We have so much we want to achieve next year: new research into SUDEP, encouraging more people to sign up for the deaths register, and encouraging doctors to be open with their patients about SUDEP. We can’t do any of it without money and I am so grateful to people like Sophie who make this vital work possible.”

To listen to Sophie’s Radio feature click here.