Teenage son of campaigning Redditch couple dies

Redditch Advertiser: Craig Prentice-Underwood, who died on Tuesday evening, aged 17. SP Craig Prentice-Underwood, who died on Tuesday evening, aged 17. SP

A TEENAGER whose family have tirelessly fundraised to buy life-saving defibrillators for Redditch schools following the death of his sister, has died.

Craig Prentice, who was 17,son of Robert Underwood and Maggie Prentice, died on Tuesday at 9.30pm, from what is believed to have been a heart attack. It was almost three years to the day that his sister died.

Charlotte Marie, who was aged 16, died in December 2010 from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS).

Following her death, her parents set about raising funds and awareness, forming the Redditch Heart Safe charity, so that every school in the town could have a life-saving defibrillator, and people trained to use it.

The couple have received a national award for their work, Mr Underwood was invited to take part in a parade at the Olympic Stadium with cardiac charity SADS UK, and in June, the couple presented handed an 8,000 signature in to 10 Downing Street calling for defibrillators to made mandatory in all the country's schools.

Anne Jolly, founder of SADS UK, who has worked closely with the family since Charlotte's death, said: "I was devastated to hear of Craig’s untimely death at the age of only 17, and staff at SADS UK are absolutely stunned by this awful news.

"Despite their grief after Charlotte’s sudden passing, the family focussed on raising awareness of SADS and fundraising to place defibrillators in Redditch and further afield.

"They have worked so hard and their actions have won them the respect and support of the community.

"Our thoughts are with Maggie and Robert and the charity will support them the best we can at this most difficult time."

And there has been a huge response on Facebook, after an announcement was made about Craig's death, not only from people who know the family personally, but also from those who knew them from the fantastic work they have done for the town.

Louise Daly said: "To lose a child is unbearable but to lose two is complete devastation. RIP Craig, may you and Charlotte take care of each other as precious angels."

Jude Prosser said: "This is such a tragedy. How can life be so cruel to a couple who have raised so much awareness for this town. There are no words. So sorry."

And a message was also received from Youth Heart Watch in Australia, which said: "Extending our deepest sympathies, love, thoughts and prayers to Redditch Heart Safe following the hearbreaking loss of Craig.

"For Craig and Charlotte Marie....forever in our hearts."

Craig's funeral will take place at The Abbey Chapel, Redditch Crematorium, this Thursday, December 19 at 11am, followed by internment at Abbey Cemetery.

Flowers are welcome, or donations can be made to Redditch Heart Safe, c/o Thomas Brothers Funeral Directors, Birchfield House, 494 Evesham Road, Redditch B97 5JF.

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