Friday 15 November 2019

Lights will shine for 'Lil Red' as city raises awareness of sepsis

Schoolboy Sean Hughes, known as Lil Red, suddenly lost consciousness while watching TV and died
Schoolboy Sean Hughes, known as Lil Red, suddenly lost consciousness while watching TV and died

The family of sepsis victim Sean Hughes have been asked to switch on special lighting to illuminate the Mansion House tomorrow to mark World Sepsis Day.

Sean, known as Lil Red, was only 15 and appeared to be getting over a flu-like chest infection when he suddenly lost consciousness while watching television with his mother in January last year.

Despite the desperate efforts of his father and a team of paramedics to resuscitate him, he died in Temple Street Children's Hospital.


Since that day, Sean's family have been engaged in a quest to raise awareness of sepsis at their own expense.

Karen and Joe Hughes have said raising sepsis awareness is their top priority.

"The Lord Mayor, Paul Mc- Auliffe, has always been behind our campaign and asked if we would do the honours of lighting up the Mansion House for World Sepsis Day, and we told him we would gladly oblige," Mr Hughes told the Herald.

"It's all in honour of Sean, and part of the drive to make more people aware of sepsis.

"Dublin City Council will also be lighting the top floor of the Finglas Civic Centre in a magenta tone on Friday to raise awareness of sepsis and as a memorial to Sean."

The HSE recently asked Sean's parents to help with a new awareness campaign for the killer illness that claims the lives of around 3,000 people every year in Ireland.

"Our video with the HSE will be released very soon," said Mr Hughes.

"It's been a long road getting the HSE on board and to roll out a sepsis awareness campaign, but they eventually listened to us and we've been helping them make the message about symptoms concise and easy to remember."

On Friday, Mr and Mrs Hughes will go from the Mansion House to Erin's Isle GAA club in Finglas, where they will host a Sepsis Awareness event called The Lil Red Show.

Sepsis claims more lives than heart attacks, breast cancer and lung cancer and can kill a healthy person within 12 hours.


Signs of sepsis include rapid breathing and fast heartbeat, pale or mottled skin, confusion or sleepiness, fever and chills and extreme pain.

Sean had been sick before he collapsed at home in Finglas.

He was known as Lil Red, because of his love of rapping.

His raps were played at his funeral in St Canice's Church, Finglas, where all his school pals from Colaiste Eoin paid an emotional tribute to him.

He had such a big personality that Sean was chosen by his school to show President Michael D Higgins around during its 50th anniversary celebrations when Sean was in first year.

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