Jared was born on 2nd September 2000. He was an only child, but had lots of friends and extended family. He loved life and always looked for the good in everyone. He was the go-to person if anyone had any problems and everyone who knew Jared adored him. He was a laid-back kind of guy with a dry sense of humour – he was hilarious without even trying. He loved stand-up comedy and making people laugh.
We knew about SUDEP but never in a million years did we think it would happen to him. Jared was found dead in his bed on 24th August 2021, aged 20, a week before his 21st birthday.
Jared was 17 when he developed epilepsy, and we still don’t know what caused it. I first noticed the absence seizures, then the complex partial seizures and shortly afterwards he had his first tonic-clonic seizure at college. He had lots of scans and EEGs tests but none revealed any abnormalities.
When he was diagnosed it was a shock to us all, but naively we thought he would be ok with medication. Jared tried all kinds of different medication and combinations but they did not work and his seizures continued. The seizures used to exhaust him but Jared used to pick himself up and often said he would not let epilepsy control his life. Jared’s amazing friends stuck by him and all learnt what to do if he had a seizure.
Jared’s death devasted many people. When he died family, friends and the local community laid flowers under a tree in the local park where he used to sit with his friends.
We did not have a funeral for Jared – we held a celebration of life events. Over 200 people attended. We played his favourite songs, gave out his favourite sweets and forget-me-not seeds. We made a memory tree, and to end the celebration we let off 200 purple balloons. Purple was his favourite colour.
Epilepsy took Jared but we fight on. When Jared died, we raised £8,600 for Epilepsy Research UK and we will continue to raise money in his memory.
– Jane Exley, December 2021
To make a donation to Jared’s memorial fund, please use the link below.