Richard Fieldman BEng (Hons) CEng MCIBSE, (Rich to his family, Bic to his friends), developed sleep epilepsy at the age of 31, and suffered violent seizures in his sleep every 3 months or so. He tolerated a long period without a driving licence, and the side effects of the drugs that were not helping improve his condition – the terrible lethargy and forgetfulness. To a man like Rich, this was just not a way of life for him and whilst he lived with his condition, he feared it would not allow him to be the person he was, dedicated, free and full of life.Epilepsy ultimately and tragically took his life on the evening of 26th February 2011, aged just 35. Rich went to bed after a happy weekend celebrating a friend’s birthday, with his beloved dogs by his side, and never woke up.

It is very easy to say in passing, that Rich was one of life’s unique, truly special people. But in this case, every word is true. He was forging a fantastic career in engineering and was incredibly well respected amongst his colleagues and peers. He managed major construction projects for his employer, and had won numerous awards throughout his career. He was a wonderful sportsman, a mountaineer, a rock climber, an ice climber, a highly skilled skier, a long distance runner, a cyclist; his love of the outdoors started as a small boy and knew no bounds. His latest challenges for 2011 were the Mont Blanc ski tour in April, the most famous ski tour in the world, and climbing the Matterhorn in July. He truly adored his friends and family and would do anything for us all, anytime. He encouraged us all to be the best we could possibly be, and we all were our best, when we were with him. He loved red wine, and made the best pizza in the world. His two border collies were the apple of his eye. In short, he filled all of our hearts with joy and souls with sunshine.

I have set up the memorial fund, simply as we do not wish another mum, wife, brother, friend or colleague to lose someone so amazing, so suddenly as we have, to a condition in which there should be more understanding, better quality treatments, and a better quality of life. Nobody should have to fear going to sleep at night, as Rich did, and fear not being able to live a normal life. We hope to raise as much money as possible for this worthy charity in memory of a wonderful, beautiful man who will be missed by so many, but whose memory, and legacy will live on.

– Emma Fieldman, March 2011

To make a donation to Richard’s memorial fund, please use the link below or visit the Just Giving page here.