Our much-loved son Luke died in his sleep in January 2011, aged 27 years, after suffering an epileptic seizure. Luke, from Sheffield, was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was 11 and up to the last couple of years it was controlled with medication.Luke lived life to the full and would never let his epilepsy get in the way of anything he wanted to do. Luke wasn’t sporting but for the last few years he ran the Manchester 10k and once completed the Great North Run with excellent times. In May 2011, Luke’s friends and younger brothers Matthew and Steven will run the Manchester 10k in Luke’s memory.

Luke went to Derby University to study Theatre Studies and Creative Writing. Theatre had been his passion since an early age as well as devising scripts when he was still too young to write and dictated them instead. After graduating in 2004 Luke moved to London to study Stage Management.

After doing a few short-term jobs, Luke got his first job in stage management as Assistant Stage Manager for the pantomime at Malvern Theatre; his time was cut short when he had a seizure resulting in a dislocated shoulder. Luke spent some time “resting” before obtaining the job of his dreams as an actor with Rhema Theatre Company in Manchester. Rhema is a Christian theatre company which complemented Luke’s deep faith. For the first year he travelled the country in a van with two actresses performing Bible stories in schools, churches, and even a prison. Since then he was employed as Associate Director, directing the acting companies, writing scripts, liaising with schools, speaking and acting at conferences and many more responsibilities.

Luke’s Rhema family talk about him being a “Legend” who was a child magnet, a great encourager, a wonderful friend, and had incredibly bendy legs, a wicked sense of humour, liked falling into dustbins and fighting with crocodiles! Luke’s family take comfort in two things Luke said over his last Christmas and New Year. The first was that he had “the best job in the world” and the second was that he’d had “the best Christmas ever”. Luke touched so many people during his short life; he relished the fact that in the pre-Christmas 2010 shows he reached 23,000 children having recorded “the voice of God” for all three companies.

Luke has left a hole in the lives of so many people that will never be filled. We have set up this memorial fund so that hopefully other families won’t have to suffer the pain we are going through. Epilepsy is such a complex condition that is so little understood and has little media attention, so we hope you will donate to this worthwhile cause.

– Heather and Paul Rotherham, February 2011

To make a donation to Luke’s memorial fund, please use the link below.