‘Adam is so desperately missed’ – Family and Friends raise £10,000 for the Meningitis Research Foundation in memory of Bassingbourn teenager

PUBLISHED: 11:58 01 June 2017

The family and friends of Adam Tolfree have been raising funds for the Meningitis Research Foundation in his memory.

The family and friends of Adam Tolfree have been raising funds for the Meningitis Research Foundation in his memory.


The family and friends of a Bassingbourn teenager who sadly died in January this year after contracting meningitis have been busy raising funds and awareness in his memory, and have now notched up more than £10,000.

The event was to raise money for the Meningitis Research Foundation in Adam's memory.The event was to raise money for the Meningitis Research Foundation in Adam's memory.

Adam Tolfree was just 16 when he suddenly fell ill and started being sick, so his mum Alison gave him paracetamol and he went back to bed, having gone to sleep the night before feeling fit and well.

Later that day a rash appeared on his body and Alison and dad Mark immediately drove him to Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge where they said A&E staff dropped everything to attend to him.

Alison said: “They gave him antibiotics through a drip and we continually reassured Adam that he was in the best hands and that he would soon be feeling better.

Tragically, Adam continued to deteroriate.

This year's Sunday Mayhem event in Bassingbourn.This year's Sunday Mayhem event in Bassingbourn.

Alison said: “We kissed him, told him we loved him and that we would be there in the ward with him when he woke up. But Adam didn’t wake up. The meningitis bacteria had taken over his body and his organs failed. He died at 7.15pm that evening.”

Adam’s vaccination record was up to date, and he had received the MenACWY vaccination the previous year meaning he was protected against four strains of the infection. The family later discovered that the meningitis B vaccination is currently only given on the NHS to babies born on or after July 1, 2015, despite teenagers being the second highest ‘at risk’ group.

Alison said: “We are now doing everything we can to raise awareness of the symptoms of meningitis, by encouraging everyone to get their children vaccinated and raising funds for the Meningitis Research Foundation.”

Bassingbourn Charities’ Barn Dance and Sunday Mayhem events were both held at the weekend to raise money for the Meningitis Research Foundation in Adam’s memory, as the funds raised continues to grow.

The foundation’s head of support Rob Dawson, said: “We’re very grateful to Adam’s family and friends.

“The funds they have worked hard to raise will be used to support MRF’s lifesaving research into the prevention, detection and early treatment of meningitis and septicaemia. It will also allow us to continue supporting families affected by this disease.”

Adam, his parents and his older sister Gemma all lived overseas in Zambia and the USA, before returning to South Cambs in 2007.

He was well known in Bassingbourn, attending the village primary school and village college with Gemma. After doing well in his GCSEs, Adam had been studying for his A levels in Cambridge when tragedy struck.

“Adam is so desperately missed by everyone who knew him,” Alison said.

“Not only was he the most loving, kind and wonderful son, brother, grandson, nephew and cousin, he was a great friend to so many.

“He was generous, good-hearted and someone who made a big difference to people’s lives by being there for them when they needed him.”

To add to the Tolfree family’s total for meningitis research go to justgiving.com/fundraising/Alison-Tolfree1


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