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Teenagers in Norfolk raise money for air ambulance which saved a critically-ill toddler's life

PUBLISHED: 13:54 04 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:03 04 April 2019

More than 80 students took part in a 24-hour football event to raise money for the Air Ambulance. Photo: Mark Casanova

More than 80 students took part in a 24-hour football event to raise money for the Air Ambulance. Photo: Mark Casanova

Mark Casanova

A Norfolk high school has raised more than £1,000 for the air ambulance which saved the life of their teachers' young son.

Around 80 students from Wymondham College held a 24-hour football tournament to raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance whose medics’ quick heroics saved a toddler’s life.

In 2014, 17-month-old Pepe Casanova became unresponsive at home and so the air ambulance was scrambled as part of the response.

He was found to have undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes and was one of the youngest children in the country to be diagnosed with the disease without any history of the condition in the family.

Mark Casanova, a house master who lives with his family at the college, said Pepe is doing well.

“He’s five now, and really good,” he said. “When the lads said they wanted to raise money for the air ambulance it was heartwarming.

“The support of the kids and staff, even as the years progress is amazing.”

The 24-hour tournament began at midday on Saturday, March 30, where more than 80 day and boarding students kicked off the event.

The day consisted of multiple games being played in shifts, where throughout the day some players would come off the pitch and have cat naps but Mr Casanova said there were about 10 ‘hardcore boys’ who were up all night.

The amount raised on the weekend was £1,000 but head of house Tom Collishaw has allowed an extra two weeks for any additional sponsorship money to come in.

Mr Casanova said: “My wife and I want to thank everyone involved for the fundraising and support. The air ambulance is self-funded so rely on events such as these.”

In 2015 Pepe’s mother Ana, who also works at Wymondham college as a Spanish teacher, donated £1,000 to the ambulance after she ran the Norwich 10K in August that year and took part in the service’s ‘Only the Brave’ obstacle course at Elveden Estate.

Mrs Casanova said that the air ambulance team were ‘just amazing’ and she had ‘no doubt’ that it was due to their quick actions that her son survived.

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