A MOTHER who lost her teenage son in tragic circumstances has raised money in a bid to ensure nobody else has to go through the same anguish.

Seventeen-year-old Will Bentham died suddenly last August after a cardiac arrest, having previously been diagnosed as suffering from gastroenteritis.

And now his mother Lisa Bentham, from Sherburn Road, near Durham, is working to support the Red Sky Foundation.

Determined to focus on something positive and to make a difference to other families, she began a fundraising campaign in Will's memory.

Mrs Bentham and other residents of the Sherburn Road estate organised a host of fundraising activities to buy two defibrillators for the community.

The vital machines – which can saves lives in the event of someone having a cardiac arrest – are being installed near her home, at Pelaw View Centre and at a nearby branch of Whitfields Chemists.

The Northern Echo:

She said: “I would hate anyone else to go through what we’ve been through.

“And who knows, if we had access to one it might have made a difference to Will.

“Everyone has been 100 per cent behind us on the estate and their support has been incredible.”

Mrs Bentham contacted the Red Sky Foundation, set up by Sunderland couple, Sergio and Emma Petrucci, as a thank you to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital which carried out life saving surgery on their little girl.

Since its launch five years ago, the Foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to buy vital equipment for the hospital and funded a campaign to install defibrillators in towns and cities across the North-East.

“It has been amazing to have Lisa support us and raise money for the defibrillators,” said Mr Petrucci.

“She is definitely one of our Red Sky Angels, the name we’re giving to those people who are supporting the charity and helping us.

“We know those minutes after a cardiac arrest are vital and having a defibrillator close at hand can literally make the difference between life and death in some cases.”

Mrs Bentham is now determined to continue to raise money for the Red Sky Foundation and to give the charity her support.

She said: “Emma and Sergio are absolutely fantastic and what they do is helping so many people.

“I want to do whatever I can to stop any other family suffering in the way that we have.”

She also hopes to raise money towards heart health research and calls for better screening of young people to identify underlying health and heart problems.

The charity is keen to hear from anyone else who would like to support the campaign and become a Red Sky Angel, for details visit redskyfoundation.com