Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

He Was So Full of Life and Fun

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

He Was So Full of Life and Fun

Article excerpt

Byline: By Joanne Parkinson

Just days after passing his Army medical superfit teenager Robert Hailes collapsed and died without warning.

The 18-year-old was set to fulfil his childhood dream of starting Army life when he is believed to have died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.

He was sitting in the passenger seat of his girlfriend Grace Collins' van when he suddenly stopped breathing.

Frantic Grace, 19, dashed to hospital but it was too late.

Today Robert's family told how they were struggling to come to terms with his death.

From the family home in Swan Drive, Dunston, Gateshead, his mum Sara, said: "I thought he must have been in a car accident. I would never have dreamed something like this would happen.

"Robert was so full of life. He was going to start in the Army at the end of the month. His life should not have ended like this.

"I had heard about babies dying like this but not a healthy young man. I didn't know what Sudden Adult Death Syndrome was.

"He had grown up with the Army because of his great grandad and his uncles. His uncle Iain, who was in the Army, used to show him military films which he loved. He always had an interest and was looking forward to joining up."

Grace said she knew Robert had gone but had desperately tried to get him help.

The pair, had known each other since they were 12 but had only recently started dating, were enjoying an evening out with friends when the unthinkable happened.

"Robert was laughing and joking with me and some friends in a car next to us when he started to make a strange growling noise.

"At first I thought he was messing about as he liked to have a joke and was always having me on but the noises kept happening," said Grace, of Mary Street, Blaydon.

"It was horrendous. He made a noise and then his fist clenched and his head rolled to one side. …

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