A gentle giant with a heart of gold

PUBLISHED: 08:51 09 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:49 03 March 2010

THE family of a Suffolk man who died as the result of a massive epileptic fit today paid a moving tribute to a gentle giant with a heart of gold.

Christopher Biles, 38, was found dead at his Stowmarket home on Sunday morning.

THE family of a Suffolk man who died as the result of a massive epileptic fit today paid a moving tribute to a gentle giant with a heart of gold.

Christopher Biles, 38, was found dead at his Stowmarket home on Sunday morning. It is believed he suffered a seizure sometime between Saturday afternoon and 10.30am the following day when his father called round to the Milton Road North property where Christopher lived alone.

The death of the popular and well know character has devastated not only his close knit family but staff and customers at the town's Asda store where he had worked for the last six years.

Moves are already underway to install a bench or a tree outside the supermarket in memory of a colleague that there was "not a single negative thing" you could say about.

Speaking from the family's home on Brettenham Road, Buxhall, Lavina Biles described her son as gentle giant who showed incredible bravery in the face of his epilepsy.

"The condition can be very difficult to understand unless you have had any dealings with it," said Mrs Biles, 61, who runs a farm with her husband, retired colonel John Biles, 66.

"Years ago I remember Chris had gone out for a walk and someone came round to the house and said 'you son's drunk, he's lying in the street'

"He would always be worried when he had a turn at work that he had let people down because he had taken time off but in fact I was told he had less days off than other women there.

"You can cut out things that might bring a fit on, like strobe lights or fair grounds but you never really know when an attack is coming on, that's what's so cruel about the condition."

Christopher, who was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was six-years-old, had spent his school years moving around the country because his father was in the forces.

He came to Suffolk 12 years ago, a short while behind his parents who came to the region to set up as sheep and cattle farmers.

He started work at Asda nearly six years ago with the SHAW Trust - a charity committed to enabling the abilities of disabled people. However a year ago the supermarket chain took Christopher on as a fully paid employee, testament to his determination that despite his condition he would to take on work load equal to that of his colleagues.

"Asda were absolutely fantastic," added Mrs Biles.

"After a turn Chris would often feel very tired and need to sleep it off. They had a pillow and duvet there and if Chris had a turn they would call us straight away or if we weren't available someone would stay with him.

"Chris knew that when he had a turn he should lie down and that was it. This one apparently was just too much. It wouldn't have mattered if there had been people there or anything, he still would have died."

He leaves behind his sister Lamorna, 36, and nephew Thomas, five, who "thought the world of him".

Sue Fowler-Simons, personal manager at Asda paid this tribute to a wonderful colleague who will be missed by all who knew him.

"Chris was a wonderful person, intelligent, extremely well mannered. He had a great sense of humour. It didn't matter how difficult the task was he was always willing to lend a hand.

He worked really hard. He was a model of respect. The customers really enjoyed seeing him and so did his colleagues.

"Every single one of the people who worked with him wish to go and pay their respects at his funeral. He was cheerful, outgoing friendly. There was not a single negative thing you could say about him. He never allowed his condition to stop him from giving 100 per cent all the time."

Christopher's funeral will take place at St Mary's church, Buxhall on November 15 at 12.30pm. All donations to the SHAW Trust, c/o L Fulcher Funeral Service, 58 Ipswich Street, Stowmarket, IP14 1AD.


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