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Tributes to ‘kind and laid back’ man who died suddenly at age of 30

todayJune 20, 2022 1

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Tributes have been paid to a “kind and laid back” man who died suddenly at the age of 30. James Sheppard, who lived in Sherwood, died from Sudden Arrythmic Death Syndrome [SADS] on April 17 last year.

SADS is a type of young sudden cardiac death when someone dies suddenly and unexpectedly from a cardiac arrest – but the cause can’t be found. James’ death came as a total shock for his friends and family as he seemed totally healthy and had no symptoms of cardiac abnormalities.

James started dating his partner Sophie Turner in early 2016 and, in the five years that they knew each other, the pair never had an argument – she described him as “the best partner she could have asked for”. Now, coming up to what would have been James’ 32nd birthday on June 21, Sophie remembers the effect he had on her life during their time together.

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She said: “My friends often said how much they wanted their own James, because I never had a bad word to say about him. I think we balanced each other out well. He was a grounding person, a bit of a homebody, and I encouraged us to go on some adventures which were massively improved by his relaxing presence.

“We did quite a bit of travelling together – my favourite was when I dragged him to South Africa and he said it was the best thing he ever did.”

Since his death, Sophie has launched a website where people can look at James’ art and photography, read his articles, and listen to his podcast and spotify playlists, so that his work can be shared more widely. She has also set up an online shop to sell prints of his art, with all proceeds going to the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) – you can visit the website here.



James Sheppard and Sophie Turner
James Sheppard and Sophie Turner

James’ mum Julia Sheppard said: “From the first second I set eyes on my beautiful son, I fell deeply in love with him, and that love just grew stronger as the years passed because of the incredible person he grew into. James was an easy child, always content, always happy and amazingly talented.

“In James I didn’t just have an amazing son, I had a friend, an ally, and on many occasions, a sounding board when going through difficult times. He was always there, never judgemental, always quietly reassuring and basically, my rock, and it is one of the multitude of things I desperately miss, now that he’s gone.

“On April 17 2021, my life changed forever, and so did I. The moment I got the phone call to inform me of his death will haunt me until the day I die, although a huge part of me has died already.

“James was the sweetest, kindest, gentlest soul to ever walk this earth and the world and especially all the people who were close to him, are desperately poorer without him in their lives. He never lost his temper, could see the good in everyone and all who met him were calmed by his presence. He really was an incredible human being and there really will never be another James.

“I still miss him desperately. He is in my thoughts every second of every hour of every day, and very often I wonder how I am ever going to carry on without him. But I do, because I know that’s what he would have wanted, but it just doesn’t get any easier.”



James pictured in South Africa
James pictured in South Africa

Describing James, Sophie continued: “James was a kind and laid back person, a great listener with a brilliant sense of humour. He was a talented artist, photographer and writer, an incredible cook, and loved music, gaming and finding a bargain. One of my favourite things about James was that he was a curious person, and when he had a particular interest in something he’d dedicate so much time to learning about it.

“He was always annoyingly good at everything he tried, too. One day he decided he wanted to start cooking elaborate and interesting meals from all over the world, and since that day he never made a bad or boring dinner. At the beginning of lockdown he decided he wanted to try drawing and painting, and his very first piece of artwork was amazing.

“Unfortunately he died less than a year after he got into art, but we’re lucky to have some beautiful pieces to remember him by, which we’re now selling as prints to raise money for Cardiac Risk in the Young.”

His friends and family are currently trying to put on free cardiac screenings for young people in Nottingham, which will hopefully take place in Sherwood where Sophie and James lived together. A coroner couldn’t find any pre-existing conditions after James’ death, but sometimes these can only be picked up via an electocardiogram [ECG] when someone is still alive – which is why his loved ones say screenings are so important.

They have been raising money ever since his death, so far raising nearly £4,000 of their £7,500 target. Anyone who wants to donate to the Justgiving page can do so by clicking here. For more information about SADS, please click here.

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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