Donations from family and friends helped raise £1,500 for West Norfolk Riding for the Disabled at the funeral of a Downham man who died after being stung by a bee.
Graham Adderson, 68, and his family were left devastated by the sudden death of beekeeper Steven Adderson, 39, after an allergic reaction to a bee sting.
Steven’s father, Graham, said: “He had two hives of his own bees but then found out he was allergic to their stings, he just said as long as I’m careful I’ll be alright. He was so laid-back about everything but that’s what killed him in the end.”
Steven had been helping a neighbour with his bees when he was stung on the ankle. He was wearing a full beekeeping suit, but had left his boots at his home, across the road.
Graham said: “He realised he had been stung and walked the 200m to his house where he called 999 before collapsing on the floor.
“The ambulance was there in six minutes, I can’t praise them enough. They worked on him, then took him to hospital where they worked on him for an hour-and-a-half, but he was already gone.”
Graham added: “He wasn’t a small lad, he was 6ft 9in. He was a gentle giant and wouldn’t hurt a fly, but a bee killed him. We’ll never get over it. You shouldn’t have to bury your kids.”
His shock death came just weeks after he had purchased a retired racehorse with his girlfriend, which was being kept at Wallington Hall, in Runcton Holme, which is also the home of Riding for the Disabled.
Kind volunteers at the centre took over the care of the racehorse after hearing what had happened, in a bid to support the family through their grief. Graham said: “When it happened, none of us were able to take care of the horse and they’ve been really very good to us.
“They didn’t have to do any of it and we really appreciate it.”
A collection was held at Steven’s funeral, which raised hundreds for Riding for the Disabled, and Graham added in some money of his own to make the total donation £1,500.
Graham added: “We’re donating £1,500 to say thank you – we’re so grateful for all they have done, the whole family is.
“We’re also donating the Steven Memorial Shield, which is to be kept at the centre and will be awarded each year to the rider who has achieved the most.
“We thought it would be nice for the kids who use Riding for the Disabled to have something to work towards and to be proud of.”
More information at www.rda-westnorfolk.org.uk/