A CAR racing-mad teen from Ringwood who had a life-limiting heart condition has died.
Samuel Cheetham, 15, a student at Ferndown Upper School, had been a patient of the Great Ormond Street Hospital since the age of four, after being diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.
It meant that his heart struggled to pump blood through his lungs, meaning he had a greater risk of heart failure, and received intravenous medication around the clock, through a pump in a rucksack.
Samuel featured in the Daily Echo in July last year, after winning the opportunity to be Bernie Ecclestone’s VIP guest at the 2012 Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
The car racing-mad teen, who got to meet some of his heroes including Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, spoke to the Daily Echo after the event.
He said: “It was an amazing day.
“Jenson was a lot taller in real life and Lewis was way shorter.
“We got to watch all of the practice and all of the qualifying from the pits, from Copse and the Wellington Straight.
“The cars were phenomenal, especially the noise.”
His parents, Karen and Tim, also spoke of their pride for their son, with Karen saying at the time: “He is a stoic boy and we’re proud of Samuel.”
Dad Tim also said back in July 2012 that to see Samuel at the F1 racing event ‘was a really special moment’. Alex Wills, headteacher of Ferndown Upper School, described Samuel in a letter to parents as a highly respected and popular student. He added that he would be very sadly missed by the whole school community.
Mr Wills said that, out of respect, the school will hold a non-uniform day at the school on the same day of Samuel’s funeral.
He added that some of the teen’s school friends were also hoping to attend the service, taking place this Friday at Poole Crematorium at noon.