A POPULAR Sheffield man who died tragically after drinking too much water was given an emotional send-off as over 150 family and friends packed into a city chapel for his funeral service.
Matthew Ellis, aged 29, died in hospital after a long coma, 32 weeks after he collapsed following a night out with pals.
Mourners crammed into City Road Crematorium to pay their respects to the young engineer from Gleadless. Parents Maureen and Ken, brother Andrew, and sister Suzanne sat in silence as friends and relatives filed in, accompanied by the song ‘Just a Dream’ by Nelly.
The service, led by minister Ken Renshaw, focused on Matthew’s cheerful and mischievous nature as a child growing up in Norton, his loyalty as a friend and devotion as a son, and his hard work as a heating engineer.
Matthew was rushed into intensive care on Boxing Day last year, having collapsed at his 66-year-old father Ken’s home in Lowedges.
He had returned from a night out in town where, although Matthew never took drugs, his family believe an ecstasy tablet was slipped into his drink.
The drug caused him to crave massive amounts of water - and the quantity he drank caused the salt levels in his body to plummet, bringing on a rare brain condition called extrapontine myelinolysis.
Despite doctors’ efforts he passed into a coma and died of a chest infection on August 4.
Mr Renshaw told mourners: “Matt lived a good life. Although he is no longer with us our memories will be fond and happy ones.
“You have all been touched by the life of Matt so remember him with love and kindness, and the gratitude of what he brought to your lives.”
Family and friends smiled through the tears as the minister recalled Matt’s early childhood as a happy but accident-prone young boy.
“If there was something to walk into or fall over he would do,” he said.
The youngster went to Meadowhead School, before going to college to do an apprenticeship in heating and ventilation.
Mr Renshaw said: “Special is a word that describes Matt - a loving son and brother, and a very dear uncle and friend.
“He was always there for his mum and dad. He would do anything for them. He loved his family deeply.”
Before the mourners left the chapel, to the track Brothers Sisters by RatPack, Mr Renshaw thanked staff on the Northern General Hospital’s Osborn 4 ward, where Matthew spent so long.
“Matthew’s family thank the staff on Osborn 4 for their dedicated, professional and loving care,” he said. adding that any donations in Matthew’s memory be made to the ward.