Andrew and Michelle Samuel are hosted at 10 Downing Street for SUDEP Action charity appeal launch

Andrew and Michelle Samuel attended a reception at 10 Downing Street hosted by Samantha Cameron for the charity SUDEP Action.

Michelle Samuel, who lost her sister to Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) at the age of just 20 in 2004, attended a special reception with her husband Andrew Samuel at 10 Downing Street hosted by the Prime Minister’s wife, Samantha Cameron.

MS AS 10 DSThe evening launched SUDEP Action appeal for research into a sleep monitoring device that could improve prevention of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP).  Epilepsy claims at least 1150 lives in the UK every year and about 500 of these are SUDEP.

The device is a miniature, Wireless Apnoea Detection Device (WADD) that is proved to detect apnoeas (stopping breathing). Professor John Duncan, of University College of London, created the device through a partnership between researchers at the National Hospital in London and Electrical Engineers at Imperial College.

The event was also a fantastic opportunity for the charity to thank some of its dedicated supporters at this world famous address including Andrew, Michelle and their family who have been working with SUDEP Action to raise awareness and funds to support research into SUDEP.

Samuel & Son as a firm are also involved in fundraising activities for SUDEP Action.  At this year’s Heathfield Show, a tombola was held on the Samuel & Son Trade Stand run by Andrew and Michelle’s young boys in memory of their Aunt.

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Mrs Cameron met with charity supporters and staff at the event which brought together about 120 people including professionals, policy makers and families bereaved by epilepsy. With the support of bereaved families the charity works to prevent epilepsy deaths including Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) through research and awareness of risk.

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The charity began as a campaign by five women, Jane Hanna OBE, Sheila Pring, Catherine Brookes, Sue Kelk and Jennifer Preston. Jane’s partner and Sheila’s son Alan died in 1990 (aged 27); Catherine’s son Matthew died in 1991 (aged 21) Jennifer’s son William died in 1988 (aged 22); and Sue’s daughter Natalie died in 1992 (aged 22). William, Alan, Matthew and Natalie were all young and active people who died suddenly and unexpectedly.