Late ‘Lil Red’ helping to save lives with sepsis awareness

by Gary Ibbotson

The heartbroken parents of a young rapper, Lil Red, who died of sepsis have released a documentary about their son’s sudden death as a warning to others.

Mum Karen and dad Joe want to help raise awareness after losing their 15-year-old son, Sean ‘Lil Red’ Hughes, to the silent killer, which claims 3,000 lives in Ireland each year.

The couple have devoted their spare time to the awareness campaign – Lil Red’s Legacy – giving talks in schools and at community events in their native Finglas.

Joe said: “At the end of the day, Sean’s death was preventable. Sepsis awareness equals saving lives. Seven people die of sepsis in Ireland every single day.”

Joe and Karen had never heard of sepsis, an illness caused by the body’s response to chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight infection which is often misdiagnosed.

Sean, who was being treated for a chest infection, was watching TV at home when he suddenly lost consciousness on January 11, 2018. He was rushed to hospital but died the next day.

The family have had posters displayed on buses and in Lloyds’ pharmacies alerting people to the warning signs, which include slurred speech, shivering, extreme pain, discoloured skin, sleepiness and shortness of breath.

To date, 11 families have contacted Joe and Karen to say the campaign helped save a loved one’s life – and they believe the true figure to be a lot higher.

Joe said: “We don’t have any budget but we’re doing our best. We’re saving lives with goodwill and a few pennies.

“Sean was just months off his sixteenth birthday when he died, and our world will never be the same again. But helping others is what he would have wanted.”

Watch the documentary at

Related Articles