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Excitement at new course may have led to Horsham man’s death
The parents of a college student think the excitement of the first day of his new course may have killed him.
Aspiring nurse Greg Johnson had his first lecture just hours before he suddenly and unexpectedly died in his sleep.
They believe the nervousness and excitement which came with starting his new academic venture, an access course at Collyer’s in Horsham aimed at getting him into nursing training, triggered a massive epileptic seizure in him.
The 24-year-old went to sleep and tragically never woke up.
Just hours before he died Greg, of Horsham, had called his parents Dudley and Lizzie and spoke about what he had learnt.
Greg, who previously attended St Paul’s Catholic School in Burgess Hill, told them about how much he enjoyed the lecture.
He said he was excited about it and asked them to buy a reference book he needed.
The book was buried with him following his funeral at Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church in West Grinstead on Wednesday (September 26).
On Facebook Greg’s final messages – hours before he died – spoke excitedly about the course.
He described the course as good, adding he was working hard at homework.
Greg’s father Dudley, who used to live in Upper Beeding but now lives in Wales, said he was enormously proud of his son, brother to Ben, Celia and Clare and brother-in-law to James.
He said: “He was very kind although he could be shy.
“He had epilepsy when he was younger and had a brain operation to stop it.”
He said by-and-large this operation worked but Greg still sometimes had seizures in his sleep.
Explaining how his son died, he said: “He suffered a cardiac arrest due to an epileptic fit.
“We think it was due to the excitement of the course.
“He was really excited to do it and called us after his first lecture the night before he died and told us all about it.
“He was surprised how much he had enjoyed it.”
His mother Lizzie added: “He loved working with people. He was lovely.”
His brother-in-law James Marlow said: “Greg was my best friend in the world and we considered ourselves more like brothers than brothers-in-law. We saw each other several times a week and spoke almost daily.
“He was kind, caring and generous and had a fantastic sense of humour.
“He was so happy about starting his new college course and everything in his life was coming together.
“Greg will always occupy a very special place in my heart, like many I shall miss him dearly, the one thing that gives me comfort is knowing is that if anyone could make it into heaven, it would be him.”
Greg died on September 3.
His friends are raising money for an epilepsy charity in his memory. Visit www.justgiving.com/gregjohnsonhorsham .