Born from devastation and motivated by change. We stand together for two very special teens.
Isabel Gentry 1999 – 2016
On Friday 20th May 2016 one family and friendship group in Bristol, UK, was devastated by the tragic loss of Isabel Gentry. Known by all her friends as “Izzy”, she was a loving, caring and beautiful 16-year-old girl with a very bright future ahead of her. Izzy had wanted to be a Midwife from a very young age and was studying hard at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College, with her sights set firmly on going to university.
On Tuesday 17th May 2016, Izzy began to feel unusually tired and said she had a mild headache. In the middle of exam season, it was initially put down to studying and working hard. As the day progressed, Izzy’s symptoms began to worsen; she had a high temperature and was vomiting. Just after midnight, Izzy was taken to hospital; by this time she was suffering with a severe headache, a very high temperature, high heart rate and low blood pressure. After an initial examination, it was concluded that Izzy was suffering from gastroenteritis and she was discharged from hospital. Later on Wednesday 18th May, Izzy’s condition began to worsen whilst at home. She was rushed back in to hospital but her family was advised that she was seriously ill with suspected Meningitis B. She was transferred to an Intensive Care Unit at the hospital.
On Friday 20th May 2016, at 7:30pm, Izzy’s life support system was turned off.
“She was the best and all I could have ever asked for as a daughter” – Paul Gentry, Izzy’s Father
George ‘Zoggy’ Zographou 1998 – 2017
Less than 15 months after Izzy passed away, the same College community and friendship groups were shattered once again by meningitis.
18-year-old George Zographou (known as Zoggy by all his friends) tragically and suddenly died on 16th August 2017 after contracting Meningitis B. George was a gentle giant, full of love and football obsessed, he had applied to study International Business and Spanish at University once completing his A-levels at St Brendan’s.
George was at Boardmasters Festival in Newquay with his friends during the summer of 2017, when he began vomiting during the first night and by the next morning had severe limb pain in his legs. He was unable to bare any weight and was suffering with terrible cramps; he had a mottled, bruised rash which looked like a tribal sign on his left foot. George’s friends took him to the festival medical tent but medics concluded that he may have suffered a stress fracture and was dehydrated. Early that evening, George went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated by festival staff. He was taken to Royal Cornwall Hospital in a coma, and was diagnosed with Meningitis B. George remained in hospital for 5 days whilst floods of friends and family came to visit him and share their love and stories.
On Wednesday 16th August 2017, George’s ventilator was switched off and he passed away.
“My future is now completely blank and terrifying. There were certainties that are no longer certain”
– Nicole Zographou