Photographer continues working at Fraja Simpson charity event while suffering heart attack

3:08pm Monday 17th February 2014

A PHOTOGRAPHER who continued working to raise funds for a girl battling cancer while having his tenth heart attack is recovering in hospital.

Paul Booth, of Scorton, near Catterick Village, said he carried on taking photos of guests at a Valentine’s ball for 75 minutes after experiencing heart attack as he did not want to let five-year-old Fraja Simpson down or spoil the event.

Mr Booth, who called an ambulance for himself after taking photos of the 230 guests to the event at Derwent Manor Hotel, near Consett, was set to donate half the proceeds he raised from photo sales to the Fraja Ellie Appeal.

He was taken to the University of Hospital of North Durham, where it was found he had suffered a major heart attack and also had pneumonia, before being transferred to the James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough.

Mr Booth said yesterday that he expected to remain in hospital for a few more days and was hoping doctors would decide if he could undergo surgery.

Fraja’s parents, Michelle and Garry, of RAF Leeming, near Bedale, said they had been stunned by Mr Booth’s selflessness and determination to help raise funds.

An appeal spokeswoman said everyone who attended the event, which raised £6,500 towards the £500,000 appeal to fund relapse treatment for Fraja in the US, was praying Mr Booth would make a full recovery.

She said: “He is a lovely man and was more concerned about what he missed on the evening.”

The event featured entertainment by comedian Lee Brannigan, and music by The Buskers and Emmerdale actor Natalie Anderson, who donated £5,000 she won earlier this month on television show Family Fortunes, bringing the appeal total to more than £190,000.

Fraja is set to undergo tests later this month to see if her MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma has remained stable.

For details about how to contribute to the fundraising drive, visit


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