Life-savers: Couple recognised for raising £10,000 in memory of daughter whose death was ‘inexplicable’

PUBLISHED: 13:01 26 October 2012

Ian and Evelyn Duffy receive their award from Diane Lee, Assistant Chief Executive Officer for West Midlands Ambulance Service.

Ian and Evelyn Duffy receive their award from Diane Lee, Assistant Chief Executive Officer for West Midlands Ambulance Service.

Archant

WHEN 32-year-old mother-of-one Suzanne Duffy was found dead, a coroner took two months to decide the cause was inexplicable - “like cot death in babies”.

Seven years later, her parents have been recognised for raising more than £10,000 for SADS UK, a charity which supports research into Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome.

Ian and Evelyn Duffy, who live near Walpole Highway, have held five fund-raising barbecues in memory of their daughter. They have helped fund research at Papworth Hospital and bought life-saving defibrillators for Fenland organisations.

The couple’s charity work has now been hailed at the Royal College of Pathologists, where they were presented with a special “life-savers” award.

Ian, 70, said the events started as reunions for his old band in 2002. When Suzanne died three years later, they continued to hold them as fund-raisers in her memory.

“I am incredibly proud,” he said. “Suzanne loved the first barbecue in 2002, she was running around taking pictures.

“I know she would think this was great.”

Money raised at the Duffy’s 2009 barbecue went towards a defibrillator for Marshland High School, which Suzanne and her son Cameron attended.

The 2011 event raised enough money to buy a defibrillator for City of Peterborough Swimming Club, where Ian and Evelyn’s grandson Liam Knight is a star performer.

Ian said: “We’ve had thunderstorms and even power cuts threaten the barbecues some years - but we’ve still put them on.”

Ian and Evelyn have just secured another defibrillator. This time it was not the result of a charity barbecue... but luck.

The pair were one of seven award winners entered into a draw to win the life-saving piece of equipment at the Royal College of Pathologists.

Their names were plucked from the sealed envelope - and their prize will be donated to the Rosmini Centre, Wisbech.

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