Family of tragic Finlay Bennett create charity in his name

Finlay with mum Jen and brother Frasier
. Finlay Bennett was killed in July 2014 by the disease, aged eight.
Finlay with mum Jen and brother Frasier . Finlay Bennett was killed in July 2014 by the disease, aged eight.
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The family of a boy whose organs transformed the lives of six people following his death from meningitis have set up a charity in his name.

Finlay Bennett was killed in July 2014 by the disease aged just eight, showing almost no symptoms apart from a sore head.

Finlay Bennett. Picture: Contributed

Finlay Bennett. Picture: Contributed

The parents of the youngster from Dunfermline, Fife, allowed his organs to be donated, helping to save the lives of six others, including a young girl who received his heart.

Now his parents want to help other families who are suddenly plunged into a medical crisis.

Finlay’s Friends have created comfort kits which include items such as blankets, socks, mints, shower gel and even a Finlay’s Friends teddy bear.

Finlay’s mother, Jenny, 41, took him to hospital after a headache persisted over 24 hours.

The comfort kits put together by Finlay's friends and family
. Picture: Contributed

The comfort kits put together by Finlay's friends and family . Picture: Contributed

She was sent away with Calpol thinking he had picked up a viral infection on a recent holiday to Spain.

Tragically, three days later, Finlay was found unconscious in his bedroom by his mum and was rushed to hospital.

Since Finlay’s death, generous friends and family members have held numerous fundraising events in his memory.

Now, three years on and in partnership with the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow, Finlay’s Friends will begin rolling out the packs on 14 August.

The packs, which come in a large box and includes a teddy bear, Vaseline, toiletries and sock, will cost the charity £12,000 to £14,000 each year.

Finlay’s father, David, 40, said: “We want to let families know that are going through something similar that there is help there and we also want to provide awareness for organ donation.

“Jen slept on a sofa at the hospital and obviously had to leave the house in a rush so didn’t have many things with her.

“You live your normal day-to-day life with everything around you but when something like this happens, that all gets forgotten.

“So the idea of having comfort kits means families get a bit of help and know there is support for them there.”

Recalling the tragic events of 2014, he said Finlay’s mother found the boy unconscious in his room.

He said: “She rang me, as we are divorced but have a good relationship, and I raced round there.

“We were rushed to Kirkcaldy and then over to Glasgow and he ended up in intensive care. He never regained consciousness.

“The main doctor in Glasgow, who I completely respect, said the scary thing was, he would have come to the conclusion had Finlay been brought to him initially as he wasn’t showing any signs of meningitis and he had recently come back from a holiday in Spain with his mum so they thought he had just picked something up.”

He said doctors had informed them that their son still remains the most recent multiple donor from the hospital.

“I find that shocking that there haven’t been more full organ donations,” he said.

“Hopefully the charity, and something so tragic as Finlay’s death, can help save more lives by raising awareness of this.”

To donate to Finlay’s Friends, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/finlays-friends