On Monday 3rd June 2019 daughter, sister, partner, best-friend, colleague, and all-round shining comet of a person, Sophie Christopher, suddenly and tragically passed away at the age of 28 despite the best efforts of A&E staff at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Woolwich, ironically where Sophie had once worked to earn money as a student, to save her.
A brain aneurysm was suspected, but the diagnosis was wrong. Sophie had, in fact, died of catastrophic bilateral pulmonary emboli. Sophie had seen a paramedic two days before her death and had been told she probably had a virus and to go home and rest. The symptoms of pulmonary embolism are often overlooked or diagnosed as other, less serious, problems such as a chest infection or viral illness.
Following her graduation from Exeter University in 2012 Sophie commenced working at Bloomsbury Publishing, followed by five years at Penguin Random House. Earlier in 2019, she had co-founded The FLIP (Female Leadership in Publishing) with two of her colleagues at Transworld, which platforms under-represented voices within the industry in a frank and empowering way. Sophie’s belief in the power of literature to effect positive change began within the walls of libraries scattered across Bexley, more specifically Sidcup Library just minutes away from her childhood home. Here Sophie’s passion for reading truly ignited, which led eventually to her successful publishing career. Such was the respect in which Sophie was held that Penguin Random House has recently announced a Volunteer Award in Sophie’s name – details of which can found at: https://bemoresophie.com/#volunteer-award
Following Sophie’s passing, her family and friends decided to organise a Quiz Night on Friday 17th January at her old school, Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar School, Sidcup, Kent, to raise funds for both Thrombosis UK, who promote all aspects of thrombosis care and research in the UK, together with a more local cause much in keeping with Sophie’s love of reading, The Book Buzz Literary Festival. The Quiz Night was a sell-out event, the evening raising a staggering total of £4,150. These funds were split to support Thrombosis UK and the book festival. It is hoped the money raised will enable an event to be held in Bexley’s libraries and other venues all around the borough, to honour Sophie’s memory.
Speaking after the event, Sophie’s mother, Brenda, extended her thanks on behalf of the family and Sophie’s immense network of loved ones:
"Sophie’s close family and schoolfriends have joined forces to raise awareness of the silent killer that is DVT/PE. This Quiz Night demonstrates how powerful a community can be when it comes together, with local business owners and groups donating raffle prizes to raise funds that will make a huge difference. Further events are due to be announced in the coming months. We miss Sophie dreadfully but have found great comfort in our loss from supporting these good causes”.
A website dedicated to Sophie’s memory and her legacy can be found at https://bemoresophie.com
There is also a Virgin memorial page where donations can be made in tribute to her memory at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SomeoneSpecial/SophieChristopher2