Sheffield man to run marathon in memory of his vulnerable brother who died inside flat as paramedic waited outside

The brother of a Sheffield man, who died after collapsing in a flat as a paramedic waited outside, is set to honour his memory by running a half-marathon.

Thursday, 11th January 2018, 3:20 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th January 2018, 3:45 pm
Anthony and John Offord as boys

Anthony Offord, who suffered from mental health problems from the age of 16, collapsed at a friend’s house in April 2013 after drinking and prescribed medication. He had also taken a small amount of heroin before arriving at the premises.

His brother, John, is now set to to run the Sheffield half-marathon in April - in a bid to create awareness of issues surrounding mental health.

“Mental health in the UK is still woefully underfunded – and psychological conditions are not treated as seriously as physical ones.

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Anthony Offord died aged 35

"It’s for this reason, I’ve decided to run for my first ever half marathon to raise awareness of the fact that no one has to face a mental health problem alone,” said John, of Greno Crescent, Grenoside.

The 38-year-old added: "I thought it would be great to do something in his honour. I think Anthony would be incredibly proud of me if he knew," said John, adding: "Anthony was really outgoing, and he loved football, Sheffield Wednesday in particular."

Anthony, aged 35, died inside as the Yorkshire Ambulance Service paramedic who arrived five minutes later waited outside for 22 minutes until other paramedics arrived because she did not think it was safe to go in on her own.

During his inquest in 2014, Sheffield coroner Chris Dorries said it was ‘more likely than not’ that Anthony ‘would have survived’ if he’d been given prompt treatment.

Anthony Offord died aged 35

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service reached an agreement with the family over the matter in 2015.

Mr Offord’s death came soon after his father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Mr Offord, who had long suffered with mental health problems, took the news particularly badly.

"Our grandfather died when he was about 16, and his mental health problems sort of went from there. Our dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2013, and he just couldn't cope."

In addition to creating awareness, John also hopes to raise £1,000 for the mental health charity, Mind.

He has raised £110 of his £1,000 fundraising target, and to donate click here.