Family invited to 10 Downing Street after teenager daughter dies from epileptic seizure

The Bolton News: Sam Ahearn Sam Ahearn

A RADCLIFFE family has been invited to 10 Downing Street to promote an appeal in aid of their teenage daughter who died after an epileptic seizure.

Samantha Ahearn died in July 2009, at the age of 19, and now mum Lynn McGoff and her husband Billy, Samantha’s stepfather, have been personally invited by Samantha Cameron, wife of prime minister David, to a reception in London on June 10.

The reception is to support Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) Action, a charity which supports bereaved families affected by epilepsy.

The Sam Ahearn Appeal was set up in early 2010 to increase awareness of SUDEP and raise funds for the charity Epilepsy Bereaved .

As well as attending 10 Downing Street, the couple will deliver papers to The House of Commons, where they will meet Bury South MP Ivan Lewis.

Mrs McGoff said: “It feels amazing to have been invited to Downing Street. It’s a great achievement for us and we are absolutely honoured to get this opportunity, which most people don’t get in a lifetime.

“When you get acknowledged like this, it makes all the fundraising worthwhile. It shows that people are listening to us.

“I keep thinking ‘what am I going to wear?’, ‘what am I going to say?’. I’m sure it’ll be an experience we’ll never forget.”

Mr and Mrs McGoff’s presence at Downing Street will hold particular significance, given that Samantha and David Cameron’s six-year-old son Ivan, who suffered from epilepsy and cerebral palsy, died after suffering seizures in February 2009.

Mrs McGoff said she wants to make more people aware of deaths like Ivan’s and Samantha’s, to illustrate the potentially fatal consequences of epilepsy.

She said: “We didn’t know anything about epilepsy before Samantha died, but if we had known more about it we could have got help.

“That’s why we have been doing fundraising — to make more people aware.”

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