Michelle Samuel turns Heathfield purple to raise awareness of SUDEP

Michelle Samuel of Samuel & Son, Heathfield has been on a mission to turn Heathfield purple to raise awareness of SUDEP to help reduce epilepsy deaths for Purple Day.

Press release
Date 17th March 2017

Michelle Samuel of Samuel & Son, Heathfield has been on a mission to turn Heathfield purple to raise awareness of SUDEP to help reduce epilepsy deaths for Purple Day.

Michelle Samuel met with her local MP Huw Merriman to express her gratitude to local Business’ of Heathfield who have gone to great lengths to turn Heathfield purple to raise awareness of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) and other epilepsy-related deaths for Purple Day. Purple Day is celebrated on 26 March annually, it is a grassroots effort dedicated to increasing awareness of epilepsy worldwide.

Michelle Samuel with Local MP Huw Merriman and one of Heathfield’s shop owners supporting SUDEP Purple Day.

There are around 1,200 deaths from epilepsy in the UK each year, 600 of which are SUDEP. Research has found that 42% of these deaths are potentially avoidable.

Michelle is currently seeking to raise funds for SUDEP Action and to help the charity raise awareness of epilepsy risks including SUDEP. SUDEP Action is dedicated to raising awareness of epilepsy risks and tackling epilepsy deaths including SUDEP. They are the only charity specialised in supporting and involving people bereaved by epilepsy.

Michelle decided to become a supporter of the charity since the sudden death of Diane, her younger sister who died from SUDEP.  Michelle says:It will be a tough challenge but it’s great to know that I will be raising funds to help prevent unnecessary epilepsy deaths. Diane was only 20 when she died in her sleep from SUDEP.

Samuel & Son were happy to turn their office purple in support of SUDEP Purple Day.

Huw said “It is shocking that over 40 per cent of SUDEP deaths are preventable. It is vital that we raise awareness of SUDEP and encourage those living with epilepsy and their clinicians to talk openly about the risks and understand how to reduce them. I was very pleased to join Michelle Samuel to take part in Purple Day in Heathfield to help raise awareness locally.”

SUDEP Action Chief Executive Jane Hanna OBE said: “The risks of SUDEP are still not fully acknowledged. This means that some people with epilepsy are still at risk of dying suddenly, prematurely and unnecessarily. We are grateful to our supporters, who do so much to raise vital funds to help research into the prevention of SUDEP and other epilepsy deaths. We would urge anyone who knows of a death in someone with epilepsy to report it to The Epilepsy Deaths Register at www.sudep.org”.

More information on SUDEP and the work of SUDEP Action can be found at www.sudep.org.  The SUDEP Action support line number is 01235 772852.