Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 12:30 UK

Epilepsy death inspires parents

Abbie Clarke
Abbie Clark was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of five

The tragic death of a 10-year-old girl has inspired her parents to use cash from a special trust fund to help young epilepsy patients across Teesside.

Abbie Clarke, from Coulby Newham, near Middlesbrough, died in her sleep from sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (Sudep) in December 2006.

Her parents Tracey and Richard have raised 30,000 to help develop a children's epilepsy database.

Middlesbrough's James Cook Hospital will receive the cash on Thursday.

Mr and Mrs Clarke set up the Abbie Clark Epilepsy Trust fund in memory of their daughter, who was diagnosed at the age of five.

'Absolutely overwhelmed'

Mrs Clarke said: "I really believe people still know very little about the condition and there isn't enough support for people with epilepsy.

"Abbie's death devastated us. We didn't realise her condition could be life-threatening.

"Working closely with the hospital, our aim is to raise much more awareness locally, so people in the area have up-to-date information and advice about the condition."

South Tees NHS Trust children's services manager Jane Wiles said: "We're honoured to be working with Abbie's family and their generosity has absolutely overwhelmed us.

"While deaths from epilepsy are extremely rare, the money from this trust fund will certainly help us to make a difference to children with epilepsy."

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