Homeless Leeds lifesaver had extraordinary secret life on the streets

The Yorkshire Post | Jonathan Brown

Tess Dealing, Ryan and Hannah Wakefield. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

The crowd of homeless people stood on a hospital ward, desperate to pay their respects to their dying friend, revealed Mark Wakefield’s tragic double life.

The 49-year-old salesman, from Pudsey, Leeds, had suffered decades of ill health which stemmed from two near-fatal brain tumours that stretched back more than 20 years – the second tumour came with a diagnosis of crippling epilepsy.

Years of self medication with alcohol led to the break up of his marriage in 2003 and he drifted in and out of contact with his children, Ryan, 19, and Hannah, 22.

Always well presented and a man with many friends, Mr Wakefield hid his problems from those closest to him and in 2013 he suffered an epileptic fit outside Leeds homelessness charity St George’s Crypt.

He banged his head and was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary, where he suffered another major seizure and was deemed brain dead by medics. His family rushed to be by his side and later agreed to donate his organs. Continue reading