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Tributes to Formula One fan Samuel, 15
5:00pm Wednesday 18th September 2013 in New Forest News
A TEENAGE Formula One fan 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 Journal last year after winning the opportunity to be Bernie Ecclestone’s VIP guest at the 2012 Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix at Silverstone. He had a VIP Access All Areas pass, witnessing the qualifying laps and seeing the inner workings of the British Grand Prix.
The teenager, who got to meet some of his heroes, including Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, said after the event: “It was an amazing day. Jenson was a lot taller in real life and Lewis was way shorter.
“We got to watch all of practice and all of 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.”
Alex Wills, headteacher of Ferndown Upper School, described Samuel in a letter to parents as a highly respected and popular student.
He added that Samuel 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 Friday, the day of Samuel’s funeral, which will be held at Poole Crematorium at noon.
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