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17 November 2015

BGT singer footage released following SUDEP death

Family, friends and Twitter followers of tragic Britain's Got Talent  contestant  Martin Morgan are celebrating through tears of emotion after  ITV  released footage of his audition tape, four months after the singer died from Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP).
 

The Scunthorpe singer and entertainer auditioned for the last series of BGT, singing Enrique Iglesias's 'Hero'. Sadly the 37-year-old died from SUDEP in July and footage of his performance was not broadcast.

Paul Walker, a friend of Martin and owner of Light and Shade Images in Scunthorpe, attended the audition with the singer.

He said: 'When Martin died, we started a small Twitter campaign for all the people involved with Britain's Got Talent.

'We got a reply from Stephen Mulhern (TV presenter) who said he would get in touch with the producers.' The footage was finally released three months later.

Singer and seizures

Paul told Epilepsy Society: 'Martin hadn't had a seizure for 15 years. He was on a cocktail of medication but we really didn't know anything about SUDEP and the risks. If we had known more we would have insisted on him having more checks on a regular basis. We would have done everything we could to reduce his risks.

'I hope the footage will help to raise awareness of SUDEP and may make a difference for other people.

'I know his family are deeply proud of him and still very sad that he has passed away, as we all are. This allows us to turn one tragedy into something positive and in doing so Martin gets to reach his dream. To be famous!'

Martin's sister, Cheryl Morgan said: 'Watching Martin's audition footage was amazing and I was so happy that they finally released this. It was Martin's dream to perform to everyone.'

Friends and family reacted emotionally to the footage on Twitter. Cheryl tweeted the BGT judges, Amanda Holden, David Walliams and Simon Cowell: 'Thank you. His dream! Ant and Dec, am so proud of my brother.'

Dan James tweeted about 'his good friend' Martin and how happy the singer would have been for people to share his video.

This allows us to turn one tragedy into something positive and in doing so Martin gets to reach his dream. To be famous!

SUDEP research

Around 600 people with epilepsy lose their lives to SUDEP in the UK each year. Epilepsy Society's medical director Professor Ley Sander said: 'It is very sad to learn of the death from SUDEP of a young man in his prime like Martin. More people die of SUDEP in this country each year than the combined deaths of AIDS and sudden infant death syndrome. It is really important that we raise awareness of SUDEP so that people can make informed decisions about lifestyle and medicines adherence that may help to reduce their risks.

'SUDEP is a major area of research for us at Epilepsy Society. We are trying to understand the genetic contribution to SUDEP in the hopes that one day we will be able to identify those at greatest risk and ensure that they are given the right support to minimise those risks.

'We are also looking at structural biomarkers in the brain which may give us some clue as to who is at greatest risk.'

Find out more

Read more about SUDEP.

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