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How a stuck office drawer helped uncover the story of Amelia

Amelia Roberts. Image copyright Roberts family
Image caption Amelia Roberts died from a rare form of epilepsy in 2018

A woman who found an order of service for an epileptic woman who died said it was “a privilege” to share her story.

Hari Miller discovered the document in her new office drawer detailing the funeral of Amelia Roberts, who died aged 21 in Hertfordshire in 2018.

She “had a cry in the toilet”, donated to the family’s fundraising page and shared the story on Twitter, where it was retweeted nearly 9,000 times.

Donations to the Epilepsy Society via the page rose from £80,000 to £118,000.

Image copyright Hari Miller
Image caption Hari Miller found Amelia’s order of service in her office drawer

Ms Miller said she had been trying to get inside the drawer for six weeks after starting a new job and had almost given up, when she decided to give it “a proper shove.”

“I pulled out the order of service. It was a real shock,” she said.

“I carried on reading, went for a cry in the toilet… and thought ‘I just have to give something’.”

Ms Roberts died in December 2018 when she had a seizure while having a bath at her home in Long Marston near Tring.

She had been diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy that was resistant to drugs when she was 16 years old.

Before she died, she had arranged to donate her brain to medical research.

Hamish Roberts said his daughter was “the most courageous girl” who “fulfilled so many things” and her mother Debbie said she would be “up there having a bit of a laugh” at the turn of events.

“We have been overwhelmed by all the donations since Hari tweeted her story. Nothing will bring Amelia back, but we want to be able to help others,” she said.

Image copyright Hamish Roberts
Image caption Hamish Roberts said his daughter was “the most courageous girl”

Clare Pelham, chief executive of the Epilepsy Society, said the money would fund a researcher called a “bioinformatician” to investigate links between genetics and epilepsy.

“Hari has made a huge difference by sharing Amelia’s story and we promise every donation will help to make a difference to the lives of people with epilepsy,” she said.

Image copyright Hari Miller
Image caption Hari Miller (centre) met Amelia Roberts’s parents Hamish and Debbie before they appeared together on BBC Breakfast


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