‘Billy was our Son shine’ say proud family

Billy Gradwell-Smith

Billy Gradwell-Smith

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The family of a young Luton lifeguard who died last month is raising money for Herts Air Ambulance, after the crew tried to save his life.

William ‘Billy’ Gradwell-Smith, who worked at Active Luton, became ill at home on the morning of Thursday, December 29, and was airlifted to Harefield Hospital where he was put on life support. A CT scan confirmed an aneurysm and a massive bleed to his brain.

Billy, aged 18, lost his battle for life on Friday, December 30.

As well as being a staff member at Active Luton, Billy, a former pupil at Putteridge High School, was also a first year undergraduate Philosophy and Literature student at the University of Warwick.

In August 2014 he was featured in the Luton News, having achieved eight or more A* and A grades at GCSE level.

His family said: “Billy’s final wish was to donate his organs for transplant which was achieved, and will give others hope in 2017.

“We are devastated by the loss. We adored him, he was our ‘Son shine’.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank those medical staff and others who worked so hard to help Billy and those that have already sent such kind messages and support.

“These have been of huge comfort.

“We have set up a JustGiving page to raise funds for Herts Air Ambulance, a really worthwhile cause that does not receive any NHS funding and relies completely on charitable donations.”

The Herts Air Ambulance (part of the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust) is a free, life-saving helicopter emergency medical service for critically ill or injured people in Essex, Herts, and the surrounding areas.

It costs in the region of £500k a month to cover all charitable costs and aircraft operations.

Each flight in the air ambulance costs £2,700.

To donate to the air ambulance service, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/BillyGradwell-Smith.

A memorial serevice to commemorate Billy’s life is being held at Stopsley Baptist Church on January 27 at 3pm.

To find out more about organ donation and how it can help save lives, visit: https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk