Nightly XBox gaming killed my son

David Staniforth and his son Chris
David Staniforth and his son Chris
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A GRIEVING Sheffield dad has launched a campaign to warn computer games fans of the dangers of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), after his son was killed by a blood clot caused by all-night sessions on his XBox.

David Staniforth, aged 54, of Dore, revealed his son, Chris, who lived with his mum in Sothall, would sit up playing Halo on his XBox over the internet against people around the world.

Chris spent so much time playing online he was even invited to one of his fellow gamers’ weddings in America next year, his dad said.

A post mortem examination after the 20-year-old’s death, in May, found he had suffered deep vein thrombosis, caused by sitting in one position for long spells. The condition, more commonly associated with long-haul flights, leads to blood clots which can then travel around the body.

The clot reached Chris’s lungs and blocked the passage of blood, causing immediate death.

Mr Staniforth has paid to create a website warning gamers of the dangers of sitting for hours at a time and is urging manufacturers to build in warnings which flash on-screen to encourage players to take a break and exercise.

He said: “Chris’s death was a massive shock - he was only 20. The post mortem resi;ts made me look at what might have been behind him having DVT - and I found quite a few cases where people developed the condition after sitting for long periods playing computer games. A charity called Lifeblood said there has been a sharp growth in young people with DVT.

“Chris had friends and used to go out but he would sit up for a all-night sessions playing computer games. He’d be against people around the world who are in different time zones.”

Mr Staniforth revealed his son had been a fan of games consoles since he was eight and was due to start a degree in computer games design at Leicester University in the autumn. Chris, who also played bass guitar, had been at Norton College then Peaks College for the last four years after leaving Westfield School.

Chris died after he had been driving in his Renault Clio with his friend, Max Lavender, also 20 and from Sothall, to a job centre to find part time work.

When they stopped outside Eastern Avenue Job CentreChris was having trouble breathing. His friend started dialling 999 but Chris went into a seizure. Max and some passing girls dragged Chris from the car and tried to revive him while waiting for paramedics but it was too late.

Mr Staniforth, a sales manager for insulation company, Rockwool said: “I’m appealing to game manufacturers so something can be done in a positive way to help other gamers.”

City Road Crematorium was packed for Chris’s funeral. A collection raised £480 for Help for Heroes, which Chris supported after the death of former schoolmate Corporal Liam Riley. Mr Staniforth also raised £255 for the charity thanks to donations from colleagues.

■ The campaign site is www.take-time-out.info