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It's all been a blur since Jemma died, says mum.

THE mother of a Welsh teenager who died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome has spoken of the moment she was told her daughter had collapsed.

Jemma Benjamin, 18, collapsed at the home of college friend Daniel Ross, moments after they had shared a kiss.

Her mother, Charlotte Garwood, was food shopping when she received a call asking if her daughter suffered from epilepsy.

"He had given us his address and when we got there Jemma was just lying on the floor," Mrs Garwood said. "I was hopeless and I was shaking. I held her hand and tried to talk to her - but you could see in her eyes that she was gone."

Jemma, of Gellideg Road, Maes y Coed, Pontypridd, died on April 30, 2009. Last week, her inquest heard doctors could find no medical cause for her death.

Daniel told the inquest they were "kissing in the hallway" before her eyes began to "droop" and her mouth "started to froth". The coroner said it was likely she died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.

Mrs Garwood said Jemma was a strong swimmer and played hockey for her school, Ysgol Gyfun Garth Olwg in Rhydyfelin. She hoped to go to Aberystwyth University in September to study European Languages.

"My 18-year-old dropped dead," Mrs Garwodd said. "It didn't make sense to me - I couldn't grasp it. It's still the same.

"It doesn't seem like two years has almost gone. I can't think what I have done in that time - it's all been a blur.

"Jemma was such a lively and bubbly girl. There's a hole there now and I think about her every day."

Jemma's family and friends have raised money for the charity CRYS, which promotes awareness of cardiac arrest in young people.


Jemma Benjamin collapsed after kissing her boyfriend
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 16, 2011
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