Apology after water bill sent to dead son

PUBLISHED: 06:30 13 February 2017 | UPDATED: 08:51 13 February 2017

South West Water sent flowers to Jasmine and Laurie Hendrick and cancelled the bill for £54 sent to their late son, Luke

South West Water sent flowers to Jasmine and Laurie Hendrick and cancelled the bill for £54 sent to their late son, Luke

Archant

A family that was sent their dead son’s water bill has received flowers to apologise for the mistake.

Laurie and Jasmine Hendrick said they were ‘distressed’ by the demand for payment over Luke’s water use because he had died in 2014.

After Luke’s parents contacted the water giant to tell them their son was dead, South West Water (SWW) immediately cancelled the bill, apologised for any stress caused to the family and dispatched a bouquet of flowers.

Mr and Mrs Hendrick, from Newton Poppleford, said the bill was redirected to them after it was posted to their son’s last address, in New North Road, Exmouth.

Dad-of-two Luke, aged 37, died from sepsis in 2014 after displaying flu-like symptoms.

Mr Hendrick, who has campaigned to raise awareness of sepsis since his son’s death, said: “Earlier this week we received a letter from South West Water, addressed to my son.

“My wife and I were very distressed by this, and phoned and requested that this bill be cancelled due to my son passing away.”

Days later Luke’s parents received a boxed floral arrangement from the water company, apologising for the ‘extra stress it had caused’.

The couple said the flowers were an ‘unexpected and lovely gesture’ that came with a ‘lovely note’.

They thanked the member of SWW staff who arranged the ‘considerate and compassionate act’. “It has restored our faith in people,” said Mr Hendrick. “In this world of insensitivity and pain, it’s nice to know that there are decent people out there.”

Trainee drug and alcohol counsellor Luke died in September 2014, collapsing at home.

At the time his family said they knew something was wrong with Luke because he continued to be unwell; he had a weak immune system and his infection progressed into sepsis, an infection of the blood.

South West Water has been contacted for comment.

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