Mother of Hornchurch’s Paddy Dear talks about tragic loss

PUBLISHED: 12:13 27 May 2016

Tricia Dear, mother of 16-year-old Paddy Dear who died after falling down a cliff on his school trip.

Tricia Dear, mother of 16-year-old Paddy Dear who died after falling down a cliff on his school trip.


“In your mind, you know that so much time has elapsed that hope is drifting away.”

Signs of Sepsis

If caught early, sepsis can be treated at home with antibiotics and people typically make a full recovery.

It may be caused by viral or fungal infections, although bacterial infections are the most common cause.

These can be urinary tract infections, lung infections, such as pneumonia and kidney infections.

General symptoms include:

- A high or low temperature

- Chills and shivering

- A fast heartbeat

- Fast breathing

If you’ve recently had an infection or injury and you have any of these symptoms, call your GP or 111.

However, if the infection is not caught early enough, more serious symptoms will present, at which point you should call 999.

- Feeling dizzy, faint or disorientated

- Diarrhoea

- Nausea and vomiting

- Slurred speech

- Severe muscle pain

- Severe breathlessness

- Urinating very little

- Pale or cold skin

- Losing consciousness

The mother of a 16-year-old boy, who died on a geography school trip, has spoken about the tragedy in the hope of raising awareness of sepsis.

The body of Paddy Dear, of Hornchurch, was found at the bottom of cliffs in Pembrokeshire, Wales, at 1am on March 18.

His mother Tricia, said: “Paddy was full of life – he loved his sports, his family and his friends.

“One of my last memories of him is firing around the rugby pitch and making jokes with his friends.

“We used to say that you couldn’t be more laid back than Paddy, nothing made him angry.

“What happened was a tragedy which no one is to blame for, nobody is at fault.”

Tests confirmed that the keen sportsman had contracted sepsis, a life threatening condition which is triggered by infection or injury, before his death.

The family believe the infection caused him to become disorientated which led to him falling, or that he lost consciousness due to low blood pressure.

Earlier in the day, the Campion School pupil had told friends he felt unwell, but Tricia said he was not the type to make a fuss.

Tricia said she knew “instantly” that something was wrong after receiving a call from the headteacher of The Campion School, Wingletye Lane, Hornchurch, telling her that Paddy was missing.

She left with her brother and Paddy’s godfather Danny Coyle, and drove to Dale Fort Field Centre, arriving at 2am.

She said: “The centre was quiet when we arrived, as if the search was finished.

“When we met some officers, they told us that a body matching Paddy’s description had been found on the rocks.

“I’m so grateful for the search they conducted to find him. The thought of them not having found his body is unthinkable, as we would never have known what happened.”

Today (Friday), schools in the borough are wearing orange to honour Paddy and raise awareness of sepsis, which 44,000 people die from each year. If caught early, sepsis is treatable with fluids and antibiotics.

Tricia said: “It’s so important to be aware of the symptoms.

“If you think there is something wrong, check with the doctors.”

All money raised will be donated to the UK Sepsis Trust – to donate, visit

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