Mum of late Richard Okorogheye plans to build mental health foundation in his name

Mum of late Richard Okorogheye plans to build mental health foundation in his name

The devastated mother of the late Richard Okorogheye, 19, plans to build a mental health foundation in his name after his body was found in Epping Forest last Monday.

The Oxford Brookes first-year student suffered with sickle cell disease, and had only been leaving the house to attend regular blood transfusions for his condition.

Richard Okorogheye left his family home on the evening of 22 March, and was reported missing two days later.

He was seen on CCTV in the early hours of 23 March walking towards Epping Forest.

It was in a pond in this woodland that Richard’s body was sadly discovered.

His death is being treated as ‘unexplained’, but police do not believe there was any third-party involvement.

Richard’s mother, Evidence Joel, described hearing the news as “devastating”.

She has said she plans to use his name in the future to raise awareness of important issues.

“There has to be awareness and for it to be treated as a serious disease. If we can use Richard’s name to bring more awareness then so be it. A lot of people out there have a condition where they don’t have a voice. The public and society need to know what sickle cell is,” she said.

Blessing Okorji, Richard’s cousin, has launched a campaign to generate funds for his funeral.

On the page, she said: “We are all in shock. Now it’s coming to terms with the reality. He is a beautiful, kind and thoughtful person, whose smile always lit a room that he entered.

“He is the son that would do anything for his mum, and it just breaks our heart that he is not going to be here anymore.

“He is loved by those in the community, he was always the funny one in the group, he had a radiant smile. He had dreams and ambitions he sadly never got to achieve.”

At the time of writing, the fundraiser has generated over £45,000, with its original target being £5,000.

This money will also go towards creating a foundation to help those suffering with sickle cell disease.

You can donate to the fundraiser here.

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