Tributes paid to 'much-loved' young dad from Devon who died after a seizure

Charlie Rice died suddenly last weekend (7 January). Credit: BPM Media

Tributes have been paid to a 'much-loved' young dad and 'lifelong friend' who died unexpectedly at his home in Devon.

22-year-old Charlie Rice died in Plymouth last weekend (7 January) after suffering an epileptic seizure. 

He leaves behind a three-year-old daughter, a six-month-old son, and a stepson. 

Family friend Kelly Sandercock is now raising funds to help Charlie's family pay for his funeral.

Kelly, 43, said: "He absolutely loved being a dad and would have done anything for his children.

"Charlie was part of an extremely close-knit family, with immense love between Charlie and his brother and only sibling, Ross.

"I could not even bear to imagine the pain the family is going through, as a mother myself. Obviously no parent is prepared for the death of a child."

Kelly had known Mr Rice for many years, as he was a "lifelong friend" to her son Tyler, 22. 

She added: "Being the same age they've been so close since they were children. My son's autistic and Charlie was the only friend who really understood him."Tyler only saw Charlie a couple days before his death. All my kids knew Charlie. For them in particular, especially Tyler, this is such a heartbreaking time.

"I'm grieving too but I'm also just trying to be there for my children."Charlie suffered from long-term health issues due to his epilepsy, which can cause fits and lesions on the brain. 

A few years ago, he had an operation to remove lesions on his brain, in the hope it would help make his epilepsy more manageable.

After the surgery, his seizures were less frequent but often seemed more extreme. 

Charlie's mum Ness, dad Tony, and brother Ross have said they are overwhelmed by people's support.Kelly is helping the family raise money for Charlie's funeral with anything left over going towards Derriford Hospital’s Neurology Department and the purchase of memory bears for children that were close to him.