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Huge drive to honour teenager

PUBLISHED: 17:37 19 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:04 05 July 2010

FAMILY and friends of a much loved Lowestoft teenager have rallied round to raise more than £3,000 in honour of his memory.

Popular 17-year-old Jordan Smith - fondly known as Jordie - died suddenly after suffering a rare blood clotting disorder that led to a huge stroke, with his life support machine at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge being turned off on June 2.

FAMILY and friends of a much loved Lowestoft teenager have rallied round to raise more than £3,000 in honour of his memory.

Popular 17-year-old Jordan Smith - fondly known as Jordie - died suddenly after suffering a rare blood clotting disorder that led to a huge stroke, with his life support machine at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge being turned off on June 2.

But while his sudden death from a rare condition devastated the north Lowestoft community, the Lowestoft College student left behind a legacy for others - as six other lives were saved through donations of his organs.

At a celebration of the life of Jordan, his parents Steve and Donna asked people to donate to Addenbrooke's Hospital's Neuroscience Critical Care Unit (NCCU) instead of flowers.

And this week, Mr Smith revealed this had raised a remarkable £1,770. “The NCCU are raising money for a portable head scanner, which costs £254,000, and this can be used at the bedside of a critically ill patient as it can take up to an hour to move a ventilated patient to the static scanner,” he told The Journal.

Given this unit at the hospital had done so much for the family - and this was where Jordan's life support machine had been turned off - further fundraising ventures have been organised to honour the youngster and help others.

In September, a sponsored swim was held to raise more cash for the NCCU in memory of Jordie. With the target distance being 17 miles - one mile for every year that Jordan was alive - and pool-time limited to three hours, the swimmers reached their target in just over two hours.

Swimmers taking part in the event at the Bungay pool - and swimming 21.4 miles (1,381 lengths) - were: Sue Harber, Mark Walker, Laura Brockwell, Ferlin Quantrill, Claire Quantrill, Nigel and Linda Crouch, Sue Clark, Jacob Crouch, Lewis Quantrill, Laura Wright, Heather Archer, Chloe Hoffman, Amy Hoffman and Lauren Quantrill.

“Sincere thanks go to all who took part, and raised £690.10,” Mr Smith said.

Especially praised were all the sponsors - including Benjamin Britten High School, who held a non-uniform day and raised an additional £120.30, Westgate in Beccles, the team of poolside helpers, lap counters, food suppliers, Tesco Beccles for supplying refreshments, and Jenny Lytton, Ian Harrison and Donna Cooper for the use of the Bungay pool.

A Halloween fancy dress party was held at The Brewery in Oulton Broad, after being organised by Carl Prettyman and Paul Dolan. Here seven local bands - Six Degrees of Separation, Not Clever, Jokari, Dragline, Stuck in Conflict, Bid Red Boat and Luxury Junkies - hit the stage to raise funds for the NCCU in memory of Jordie, and also for the Big C appeal, in memory of 39-year-old Karen Sturgess, who died from cancer.

A raffle was also held, and £1,100 was raised for the two charities - with the monies being equally divided between the two worthy causes.

“We'd like to thank all the bands that played and everyone who donated raffle prizes,” Mrs Smith said.

And on November 28/29, a Musical Memories show was held at Pakefield's Seagull Theatre. The two-day music spectacular again paid tribute to both Jordie and Karen, with the event being organised by Penny and Harriet Athorn of Jumpin Jax dance school.

“It was a great night with the dancers doing songs from the musicals, bands playing and singers performing,” Mrs Smith said.

Future fundraising events are also in the pipeline, with close friends of Jordie's hopeful of having a memorial bench made in his honour.

Early next year, Mr Smith is aiming to organise a “really special” WAW wrestling show in Lowestoft - with television coverage already being discussed as the event is held close to what would have been Jordie's 18th birthday.

“Both myself and Donna are very thankful for what people have done, and for all the support we have had,” Steve Smith told The Journal.

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