Family pay tribute to Hallam second year who died suddenly in halls

She died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome


The family of a Hallam second year have paid tribute to their daughter after she died suddenly over the weekend.

The body of Olivia Mae Woodward was discovered on Sunday in The Exchange Works, Sheffield Hallam accommodation on Arundel Street.

Olivia, who had just gone into her second year in international events management, died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.

The condition, also know as Sads, can cause unexpected cardiac arrest and sudden death in young, apparently, healthy people.

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Olivia had just returned back to Sheffield for her second year of studies and hoped to use her degree to get into wedding planning.

The Hallam student, originally from near Melton Mowbray, had only just been brought back to university by her family on Saturday 17th September.

Paying her respects to her daughter, Olivia’s mother Lisa, said: “The overriding comment people have been saying is that Olivia was just beautiful inside and out.

“She was so caring and kind, she was just a lovely girl.

“She was so happy to be going back to university, she absolutely loved it. She was looking forward to meeting all her friends again and her boyfriend, Charlie, is also there.

“She loved the social side of it, to go out and party, and she loved to dance.

“She loved her family and friends and was so loyal.”

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Lisa also explained that there was nothing on the night of her death that seemed out of the ordinary.  Olivia had sent a text message to her mum at around 11pm to say that she was looking forward to going out with the new flatmates she had just met.

Olivia’s mum added: “One of her friends got a bit too drunk that night, Olivia took him back and looked after him.

“She got him some food and put him to bed before going to her room.

“I sent her a message the next day but didn’t get an answer.”

Despite being perfectly fit and active, Olivia died unexpectedly from Sads after her heart suddenly stopped. Her family now aim to raise the awareness of the condition amongst young people and raise funds to support the Cardiac Risk in the Young charity.

“Sads isn’t something people are aware of which is why we want to raise awareness of it, we just want people to know about it.

“I think all teenagers and young people should get checked for it.”

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In memory of his girlfriend, Olivia’s boyfriend Charlie and her sister Annabelle have already raised more than £2,600 after setting up an online fundraising page in her name.

The Cardiac Risk in the Young charity, or Cry, says that at least 12 young people will die every week across the UK from undiagnosed heart conditions. No prior symptoms will be displayed in 80 per cent of these deaths.

Donations can be made on the family’s Just Giving page, and more information on sudden death can be found here.