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Funeral for asthma attack victim
12:00pm Wednesday 17th October 2012 in News
FAMILY and friends will gather at St Mary's Church in Chard tomorrow (Thursday) to say their final farewells to 14-year-old Ryan Clarke who died suddenly last week.
Ryan, who was better known as Ryan Sparks, is understood to have died as a result of a severe asthma attack on October 8 – just a few days short of his 15th birthday.
His friends at Holyrood Academy have been left stunned and shocked at his death and put messages on the social networking site Twitter, while video tributes about Ryan have been posted on the internet website YouTube.
Holyrood headteacher Maurice Hicks said: “Everyone at Holyrood is deeply saddened to hear that Ryan has passed away.
“Ryan was a very popular student with many friends. He had a great sense of humour with a real talent for making people laugh.”
Holyrood has opened a Book of Messages for students to put their own poignant thoughts down on paper.
Mr Hicks added: “Year 11 students and staff held a special assembly in memory of their friend Ryan Sparks who will be greatly missed.
“Our thoughts are with Ryan's close friends and family at this difficult time.”
His family have understandably been left devastated at his death and the News has respected their wishes and left them alone at this terribly difficult time.
The funeral service for Ryan will be held tomorrow at St Mary's in Chard at 11am followed by a private interment.
For those wishing to remember Ryan donations can be made via Bishop's Funeral Services in Old Town, Chard, in aid of Avishayes Combe Football Club, the Army Cadets and the charity Asthma, Allergy and Inflammation Research.
AAIR raises funds for research into asthma at Southampton University and since it was founded 15 years ago has so far amassed £5m. A trustee of AAIR, Frank Anderson, said: “It is always very sad when we hear that someone died as a result of an asthma attack. However, it is incredibly sad and difficult to understand that someone so young and undoubtedly loved by his family and friends has died.
“The experts who work at Southampton General Hospital believe a large number of these sudden deaths are avoidable. We are striving to improve treatments and management in the hope that we can help to ensure deaths of this nature do not happen.”
And Professor Stephen T. Holgate, of AAIR, added: “Our charity is very much focused on understanding the underlying mechanisms of asthma and in particular why some patients have severe disease and unexpected attacks.”
Colin Derham, of Avishayes Combe Youth FC, said: “Ryan was such an enthusiastic, polite and happy young lad.
“It may have been a short life, but the impact he had on his friends and team-mates will remain a lifetime.
“Young Ryan will never be forgotten at Avishayes Combe.”