Red Sky Foundation to install new defibrillator in memory of Sunderland businessman who died following 'freak accident'
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James Douglas, 28, was killed after a pillar collapsed on top of him as he climbed onto a hammock, which was elevated between two brick columns on Friday, April 15 at his home in Tunstall Village Green.
Tributes flooded social media following James’ death and his family paid tribute to a “much-loved” man who was “exceptionally hard working and one of a kind”.
Following the death of James - who managed a letting company, funeral business Provisionwise and party event firm Gamezone – his family and friends set out to make a ‘positive difference’ with a fundraiser held in August which raised £4,560 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and the Air Ambulance Service.
After the huge success of the charity night at The Saltgrass pub, in Ayres Quay, which saw more than 200 people attend, Red Sky Foundation founders Sergio and Emma Petrucci decided to honour James and his family with a gesture from the charity – a defibrillator to be installed in memory of James, with a location near the National Glass Centre a possibility.
The Sunderland-based charity, which was set up by the couple to raise money after their daughter Luna underwent life-saving cardiac surgery when she was little more than a baby, said James was a guest at their ball in March this year.
Sergio, who has most recently installed a defibrillator at City Hall, said: “We thought this would be a fitting tribute to James and his family, and its equipment that could potentially save a life.
"James was one of our guests at our charity ball earlier this year and it was heartbreaking to hear about the tragic incident, so we wanted to install the life-saving defibrillator in his name.”
James’ family hope to continue fundraising by creating an annual event to raise funds for different charities following the event held in the summer by Lynne Oliver, who manages BizSpace, where James set up his first office, and James’s business partner, Kevin Brown.
Toni Brown, James’ cousin said: "James was a special person and we want to celebrate his life and keep fundraising with an annual event. It was such a kind gesture of Sergio to name a defibrillator after James and we’re all really proud of this – We hope to place this near the Glass Centre in Sunderland.